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Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:12 am
by Tweetypie
Vet Ark Zolcal D

Has anyone used this as an extra calcium supplement? I saw it on the BHWT website, after googling soft shelled eggs.

I give mine oyster shell and grit, but they don't seem to take much. Not sure if that is because they have plenty to go at in their outdoor run with natural soil, grass etc.

Cindy laid a soft shell egg this morning, That's twice in 3 weeks, so not often. On both occasions, it seemed to have been that the second egg was laid within 24 hours of the first. She doesn't seem to have a regular "egg time" clock as Barbie, who lays hers early morning every day:-)

Food-wise they have layers mash and layers pellet.

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:48 am
by rick
If they have good quality layers pellets then they shouldn't be short of calcium. Having oyster shell available for a top up if they need it would be more than enough.
I think, and this is just my take on it, that probiotics would be more useful as that will aid any trouble they are having digesting the calcium (and everything else) out of their food (if thats the problem.) Avipro Avian is good. Again, this is just my way of doing things, but, I ferment grain for them with the occasional bit of Avipro in the jar to make sure that the lacto-bactiria in the culture hits the spot. Its a treat that they like and have some mixed with a layers mash for breakfast.
Unfortunately, ex-batts are likely to have some egg quality issues as they progress beyond the commercial high production they were bred for. But that doesn't mean you cant give them the best chance to overcome their nature.

Using Avipro as directed on the tub is pretty expensive - especially if given in water. Having your own culture (similar to having a sour dough on the go) makes it last much longer.

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:05 pm
by Marigold
Good advice there from Rick. But as he says, if you take on exbatts, you have to accept that there will inevitably be eggshell quality problems, caused by the intensive nature of their breeding for short-term maximum egg production. If these problems could be cured by simply giving extra supplements I expect the farmers would do this to prolong production of saleable-quality eggs, instead of simply replacing the whole flock by 18 months old. By the time they are replaced, many of them will be 'worn out' in commercial terms, and about to experience various problems with their egg laying apparatus such as prolapse or peritonitis, not only eggshell production. That's why they are being replaced, although you may be lucky and get a couple who go on for some time with no issues - it's a bit of a lottery, and of course people often take on lovely exbatts out of kindness rather than for lots of perfect eggs.

It's not only exbatts that have these problems - any hen over two-three years old will eventually get to the 'henopause' and be liable to 'lady problems' especially the hybrid types, although domestic hens who have the chance to moult and take a break over the winter will usually go on longer, and purebreds often spread out their laying over a much longer timespan than hybrids originally bred for lots of eggs.

Calcium uptake is very complex, and giving extra calcium probably won't be very effective. You could try Nettex Mineral Powder, which contains seaweed and probiotics as well as a range of complementary minerals including calcium. But as Rick says, good quality pellets will actually contain all the supplements they need, so any extras may make you feel better, rather than the hens themselves.
BTW, so long as the membrane is intact its perfectly OK to eat soft-shelled eggs. And if you have a dog, just feed him/her any you don't fancy, raw egg is very nutritious and good for their coats.

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:29 pm
by Tweetypie
Can I ask which pellet and mash brand you both use please, as I just got the one I saw from Mole Valley Farmers shelf. Not having had hens before, I didn't know what to buy. I have Dodson and Horrel".

Both are very perky hens, look well and no trouble. I just want to ensure that they are getting all they need as a preventative measure.

I let them out for an hour today, into my "posh" part of the garden and lawn whilst giving the whole coop and runs a good, deep, clean. They had a fabulous time and saved me some work having to dig the borders over.... ;-)

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:01 pm
by Marigold
Dodson and Horrell are fine, they're a good brand with quality ingredients. The very cheapo brands contain chemical colourants and other additives which aren't so good. Just read the ingredients on the label, or look them up on the maker's website.
I'm glad to hear your two are evidently enjoying a lovely life with you, lucky girls.

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:18 pm
by rick
Smallholder layers pellets for us - just because it has a smaller pellet size (nice for smaller breeds and bantams.) When I say 'mash' I mean pellets that have been moistened into a mash (for various reasons like a warm mash before roosting in the winter) rather than dry mash or crumble from the bag.

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:58 pm
by Icemaiden
I feed my girls (including ex batts when I have them) Smallholder layers pellets too. They all have access to oystershell grit, but as you say they don't eat a lot of it.
When I get the occasional hen laying thin shelled eggs, I add Nettex Mineral Boost to their food. It helps the ex-batts in their old age!

Don't give up on them. If humans were culled when they became less fertile, there wouldn't be many of us on this forum!!!

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:56 am
by Tweetypie
Just to be 100% that I get the right one, is it this brand? Mine prefer mash, but I can get their crumble version. WIll also try nettex. My garage is going to be full of chicken feed and supplements soon LOL

https://www.fossfeeds.com/allen-page-sm ... rs-crumble

Found a stockist a couple of miles away, too :-)

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:01 am
by Marigold
We discussed different types of feed a little while ago, in this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10525 in case you're interested, Tweetiepie.
Excellent comment, Icemaiden. I'd have been for the chop a long time ago if I'd been a chicken.

Re: Vetark Zolcal D

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:03 am
by Marigold
Tweetypie wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:56 am
Just to be 100% that I get the right one, is it this brand? Mine prefer mash, but I can get their crumble version. WIll also try nettex. My garage is going to be full of chicken feed and supplements soon LOL

https://www.fossfeeds.com/allen-page-sm ... rs-crumble

Found a stockist a couple of miles away, too :-)
Yes, that's absolutely fine, one of the best brands you can buy. They can just get on and enjoy freeing up space in the garage!