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robyn
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Hi all, have had 4 pairs down for 2 weeks or so. One nest has 3 eggs, older exp hen. 2 days ago found a soft shelled egg on floor of another cage, new hen, to-day she a laid another off perch again soft shell.

 

 

3rd nest found soft shelled egg on floor of that nest, this hen had 1 clutch last season.

 

I have never had any soft shelled eggs before I have cuttle fish, shell grit, iodine & calcium bells in aviary, plus I added liquid calcium to water a couple of weeks before caging birds.

 

They get the usual greens etc I don't know whether it is just a coincidence that 2 nests are laying soft shell eggs but what can cause it other than lack of calcium?

 

How long would it take for liquid calcium to take effect if it's that? I have it in breeding cage water now also. :unsure:

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It is a lack of calcium...........I usually add more liquid calcium to the water of any cage where soft shelled eggs are laid and it immediately fixes things.

 

How much sunlight are your birds getting before putting them down to breed ?

Edited by **KAZ**
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Hi Robyn It certainly sounds like Cal deficiency . By the way Cal in drinking water

 

becomes ineffective (If that's the right word) after a couple of hours.

 

A Vet friend of mine told me that a new study that is under way. It seems there

 

are some fruit & veg that contain enzyms (What ever they are) that inhibit the

 

take up of Calcium & other goodies from other fruit & veg. I've written it all down

 

& when he's checked it I'll post it. Yours B.J.rolleyes.gif

Edited by Bird Junky
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Thanks for the reply's,

 

Kaz my birds are all free flying in aviary and fully wired flight, until I pick out the ones I want to pair up.

 

I don't think I can add much more "stuff" for them. Can't understand why they seem to be lacking.

 

Can you overdose on calcium? I've added it to cage birds daily since I found first egg but didn't know how quickly it works. Would making the dose stronger harm them?

 

 

I had those couple of birds that slumped on perch, don't know if there is a connection. :huh:

 

Hi Robyn It certainly sounds like Cal deficiency . By the way Cal in drinking water

 

becomes ineffective (If that's the right word) after a couple of hours.

 

A Vet friend of mine told me that a new study that is under way. It seems there

 

are some fruit & veg that contain enzyms (What ever they are) that inhibit the

 

take up of Calcium & other goodies from other fruit & veg. I've written it all down

 

& when he's checked it I'll post it. Yours B.J.rolleyes.gif

 

Thanks Bird Junky, maybe one thing is counteracting the other? Seems like a new prob. arises each breeding cycle l.o.l. :rolleyes:

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If your other birds are slumped it is likely they are all deficient in calcium (Ca). Ca has a lot to do with muscle function and if they don't have enough calcium the muscles won't contract properly leading to either paralysis, spasms or just not being able to move properly. While Ca is absorbed passively through the gut animals need vitamin D in order to actively absorb Ca... which is where sunlight comes in. I'm not entirely sure that it works in the same way for birds, but in other animals vitamin D is produced when sunlight hits the skin, so having the birds have access to sunlight is very important. Certain things in the diet (especially phytate, which is found in some cereal grains and corn I think) can bind to Ca and make it unavailable so I'd be wary of this as well.

Ironically, Ca overdose has similar symptoms to deficiency in that it can cause drowsiness and muscle weakness, but seeing as you're getting soft shells, I'm more inclined to say its a deficiency. (OR the hen is deficient and the rest are getting too much, but I think thats relatively unlikely)

Have you tried seeded grass? Or cuttlebone? I've never encountered a bird that will reject grass, even if they've been raised on seed only...

There are some other minerals which could be the problem (Mg, P etc) but I think Ca is likely to be the problem.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

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Hi Shann_rk, Thanks for the info. as stated mine have cuttlebone etc. I do give them grass (seeded when poss). I usually wash all soil etc off before I give it to them but I read that in the wild birds get Iodine etc from soil around grass roots so don"t know if it's safe to give it to them soil attached. My birds that were slumped are both fully recovered it was a few months ago now.

 

I've added the calcium to caged birds water so fingers croseed that will help.:rolleyes:

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I do give them grass (seeded when poss). I usually wash all soil etc off before I give it to them but I read that in the wild birds get Iodine etc from soil around grass roots so don"t know if it's safe to give it to them soil attached.

 

Mine get theirs soil and all.....the roots is the first part they eat.

Edited by **KAZ**
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Thanks for that Kaz. I'll try mine now, they may get some benefit from the soil. :P

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Yahoo one normal egg. Fingers crossed.

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Me again, nest 1 that had soft shell egg, now has 3 normal looking eggs. No sign of fertility yet.

 

Nest 2. Laid 3 soft shell that I know of. She still looks very egg bummy, hasn't had an egg soft of otherwise for 6 days, she's a new hen. I just read about internal layers on onother post.

 

Does this sound like she may be an internal layer? or could she be laying and eating eggs? no sign of this either but she spends some time in nest box. :blink:

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I have a hen that wouldn't even let her eggs go cold before eating them.

I only know this because I caught her laying, scared her out of the box when i checked, and she went straight in and ate it lol

 

Needless to say I haven't bred with her since. But that's good news about the normal looking eggs :)

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Thanks Maddy, don't know what to think at this stage. Maybe being a new breeder and having laid 3? soft eggs that may be her clutch size for this round.

 

Don't know whether to leave her and see if she starts round 2 or remove her and try again later. :unsure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s further to this if she has finished this round, so to speak. Can anyone advise how long she is likely to take before laying again, when she hasn't been sitting? :unsure::unsure:

Edited by robyn
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Well took a punt and added 2 white marbles to nest. Hen sat on them (they were warm) when I checked still no eggs.Still egg bummy, took her out of nest box into other cage with no box. Within 24 hrs she has lost the egg bum, no eggs. Still at a loss. Will try her again later to see how she goes.

Good news with other nest (soft shell) she now has 5 eggs at least 3 looking fertile.

Watching like a hawk because her mate is big grey that ate eggs last season. So far he's been really good showing normal "attentive behaviour" to hen but not going into box much but chats at door. Fingers still crossed !!!

Thanks Maddy, don't know what to think at this stage. Maybe being a new breeder and having laid 3? soft eggs that may be her clutch size for this round.

 

Don't know whether to leave her and see if she starts round 2 or remove her and try again later. :unsure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s further to this if she has finished this round, so to speak. Can anyone advise how long she is likely to take before laying again, when she hasn't been sitting? :unsure::unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Further to this saga, I now have 1 new chick from nest with egg eater Dad. :P I managed to drop lid on 2 eggs, both fertile #### damn, b... etc. :( I'll have hinged lids very soon I can tell you.

Hen laid 6 eggs I broke 2, 1 clear, other 3 looked fertile 1st hatched yesterday. Dad really seems to be doing all the right things. Fingers crossed for next 2 as he was a cock I bought for "new blood" and he ate eggs last season.

On advice from G.B and Splat gave him a second chance. Really glad he came good. :rolleyes: Have 4 nests down so far 2 chicks 17 eggs.

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I managed to drop lid on 2 eggs, both fertile #### damn, b... etc. :( I'll have hinged lids very soon I can tell you.

 

 

If you have one drop down sliding door.....simple solution is to cut in in half or one third two thirds, so the smaller section stays down all the time and you only lift the top half

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Robyn, if the hen has laid soft shell eggs, don't continue to breed with her, give her a rest and let her moult through again befor re-pairing. She needs time to replenish her calcium levels and rest. cheers Clearwing

Edited by **KAZ**
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Thanks Clearwing, the hen with new chick, laid 1 soft then went on to lay normal eggs.

 

First hen laid a few soft and then nothing, she is back in aviary now will try her again later.

I have kept adding the calcium to all breeding cages so far all going well. Also in aviary water for a while to make sure. :rolleyes:

 

I managed to drop lid on 2 eggs, both fertile #### damn, b... etc. :( I'll have hinged lids very soon I can tell you.

 

 

If you have one drop down sliding door.....simple solution is to cut in in half or one third two thirds, so the smaller section stays down all the time and you only lift the top half

Thanks Kaz. my nest box's are on outside end of cages so they have a loose ply lid on top of box that I remove to check eggs etc. then I can open front to clean out old bedding etc. I will have to hinge lid to box so it lifts up but doesn't fall into box by accident or stupidity. :blush:

 

This is picture of first set of cages. To show how they are set up. New ones similar but have proper wire fronts and nest box is turned along side of cage etc. don't have picture of those.

 

 

 

 

10breedingcage14-5-2009.jpg

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I'm glad everything is working out Robyn :) I know how frustrating it is to break a fertile egg, I did it with one in this clutch and could have kicked myself.

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Well Nadene now have good and bad news. Dad has been great until now. I have lost first chick, found it dead in box late day 2.

Not hurt etc but it had large air bubble in abdomen and looks like they were feeding it whole seed. :unsure:

 

I got really upset because it was only chick from this Cock bird that I really wanted.

In case it was just inexperience, not wanting to lose last 2 eggs, I swapped them with 2 eggs from hen who has 8 of her own.

 

Put her last 2 under "egg eater " mate. She's still sitting ( fertile I think) and her 2nd chick hatched with surragate Mum, been fed and looked after, she's a great Mum.:wacko:

 

Fingers crossed for next egg. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well Nadene now have good and bad news. Dad has been great until now. I have lost first chick, found it dead in box late day 2.

Not hurt etc but it had large air bubble in abdomen and looks like they were feeding it whole seed. :unsure:

 

I got really upset because it was only chick from this Cock bird that I really wanted.

In case it was just inexperience, not wanting to lose last 2 eggs, I swapped them with 2 eggs from hen who has 8 of her own.

Put her last 2 under "egg eater " mate. She's still sitting ( fertile I think) and her 2nd chick hatched with surragate Mum, been fed and looked after, she's a great Mum.:wacko:

 

Fingers crossed for next egg. :)

Well both chicks hatched and doing well with surrogate mum. I swapped them with 2 eggs from hen who has 8 of her own.( Looks like he went back to egg eating, they disappeared.after several days) So Back to aviary for him and his mate. I may try her again but don't think I'll chance him.

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That's great Robyn about the chicks :). I was going to post you that question today, you must have e.s.p. It's strange what they do with their eggs, my hen layed again and threw out her first egg and now she is sitting on 4 and I know it was her because I caught her rolling it around like a marble.

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Hi Nadene, Really glad I swapped eggs. At least I have 2 chicks from "rogue male" just hope they don't inherit Dad's habit.

 

Surrogate mum has 5 of her own now and 1 egg to go. (8) all up if it hatch's but she reared 10 last yr. only thing she had 2 chicks hatch same day, one hers one surrogate. Now have to figure which is which when they feather up. :blush: problems, problems. l'o'l'

 

That's great Robyn about the chicks :). I was going to post you that question today, you must have e.s.p. It's strange what they do with their eggs, my hen layed again and threw out her first egg and now she is sitting on 4 and I know it was her because I caught her rolling it around like a marble.

 

I hope they hatch for you. I wonder if they sense a dud egg?

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Wow she sounds like a great mum. I can't wait to see some picture's.

 

The only visable difference with the egg was its size, it was bigger than the rest.

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Hi, If why not use then remove the egg eating cock. The hen can manage to sit & raise the chicks

 

on her own in most cases. So he wont be wasted. Yours B.J.laugh.gif

 

PS I hate to ask, but with all your problems. Are your birds in full breeding condition?

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Hi B.J,

I had a problem with calcium I think , yes birds were ready to breed, "egg eater" was a test case to see if he would leave eggs alone this time. He was great until first chick hatched, then they fed it whole seed I think that caused it's demise.

Swapped last 2 eggs rather than lose them, a few days later swapped eggs disappeared. His 2 chicks are safely tucked up in surrogate nest so all is not lost. Will definately try hen again but not sure about him .:unsure:

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