Monday, 5 March 2012

Giving grit to the hens

One of our hens laid a deformed egg recently. This is is:

deformed egg Feb 12 1

The cause was a lack of grit in their diet. We had been giving grit to out hens but ran out for a couple of days. It seems that calcium deficiency can therefore have rapid effects. Grit doesn't just supply hens with calcium. The grit contains hard, indigestable oyster shells which held to grind up the food in a hen's digestive system.

So if you are keeping hens, make sure they have lots of grit.


Anonymous said...

I'd heard that if hens don't get enough grit they start eating their own eggs. Not sure if this is true or just a myth? Jules

Jonathan Wallace said...

Hello Jules, not sure if that is the case or not. However, I have been asked by quite a few people if it's okay to feel egg shell to hens. My advice is not to as it could encourage the hens to eat their eggs and also in the UK DEFRA bans feeding kitchen waste to hens.

elfriide tramm said...

certainly you can feed the egg shells to your hens - it never encourages them to eat their own eggs. it has been done centuries in my country. the only thing is, that you should rinse the shells a bit and then let them dry to avoid growth of bacteria.