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#7074 - 02/19/04 07:00 AM Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Anonymous
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Why don't commercial egg producers incorporate a soluble calcium in the hens' drinking water? It seems obvious that this would be a desirable thing to do, since ALL the calcium that gets into the eggshell has to come through the hen's blood stream in a soluble form.

Calcium carbonate (CaCO3: limestone, oystershell) is insoluble in pH neutral water (dissolves slowly in acidic solvent).

There are many soluble calcium compounds - all the calcium halides are soluble as are organic calcium sources such as calcium acetate (dissolve calcium carbonate in vinegar and you get calcium acetate in solution).

Why aren't some of the soluble calcium compounds exploited? A couple of possible reasons come to mind: 1) perhaps (and I don't know this to be true) the soluble sources are more expensive (?). After all, what could be cheaper than pounding up some stones that are lying around. 2) the equipment in layer houses would have to be modified to add the soluble calcium - resistance to change.

Calcium chloride is probably the cheapest soluble calcium. Have any studies been done regarding the effect of chloride beyond sodium chloride? It would be a cheap and efficient way to boost the calcium in a layer's diet provided that it isn't toxic to the hen. Perhaps the use of soluble calcium sources is better suited to the small operator?

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#7075 - 02/19/04 07:13 AM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm doing this now. I bought some crushed limestone (called feed lime) the other day to mix with the corn treat that I feed about mid-day. A few moments ago, I filled an ordinary drinking glass (a glass glass) about 1/4 full with the crushed limestone. Then I poured the vinegar in until the glass was about 3/4 full.

The chemical reaction is pretty active so be prepared for the bubbling. When the limestone is dissolved (or the reaction stops), I will use that liquid, which contains about a day's worth of calcium in soluble form, in the drinking water of my layer flock.

We'll see what happens.

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#7076 - 02/19/04 03:46 PM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona
Things are easier here :^) I just mix food grade Diatomaceous Earth into the feed. I don't feed anything from my kitchen and I don't feed oyster shell. The eggs are hard as rocks. In fact, I wish they weren't as hard as they are! -G- Everybody must be getting enough calcium.

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#7077 - 02/19/04 04:19 PM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Anonymous
Unregistered


.... and what do you pay for that diatomacious earth per hundred pounds? What kind of economics are you talking about here. How much DE do the hens consume per dozen eggs? What are your expenses per dozen eggs? Do you know?

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#7078 - 02/19/04 07:57 PM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
Just off the top of my head..calcium requires active transport across the gut wall to get into the blood stream so "solubility" is not a factor once it is in the lumen of the gut. Hardness of water can effect "palitability" of the water so increasing the calcium salt content of the water could (should) adverserly affect consumption. I am not aware that calcium consumption per se is a problem with poultry. The problem as I understand it is that birds spend 8 to 10 hours a day sleeping during the hours of darkness and the gut contents are cleared in approximately 3 to 4 hours. Therefore, the problem is to have particles of sufficient size to keep them in the gut to continue to allow calcium to be absorbed into the blood stream during that period of time that the Uterus is forming the shell of the egg. My simple thought pattern does not comprehend how having a water soluble source of calcium would assist this process since the bird is not drinking during the time of the day it is sleeping.

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#7079 - 02/19/04 09:49 PM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona
=== and what do you pay for that diatomacious earth per hundred pounds? What kind of economics are you talking about here. How much DE do the hens consume per dozen eggs? What are your expenses per dozen eggs? Do you know? ===

I keep forgetting Lee that what you and I do with our birds are worlds apart. My birds are here to eat insects, not provide me with a living. Makes a big difference. They need food, so I keep the hoppers full.

A 50 pound bag of food grade DE here is $25. Depending on geography, it can be more or less. The birds free range, so ALL the birds, roos and hens, are eating what I provide. The DE is mixed to be 2% of the feed. For each of my 25 pound hoppers, it's 1/2 pound of DE (by weight). About 50 birds, two hoppers are filled once a week. So that's what, one 50 pound bag of feed/week. One pound of DE/week. But I use more DE than that 'cause I sprinkle it everywhere.

When you consider the price of the DE, does the fact that it's the only thing I use to kill insects by sprinkling it and the only dewormer I use by feeding it? And there's no withdrawl time for the eggs/meat. (Altho I don't eat the birds.)


Fortunately to date, I've never had a sick bird so no medicines have been purchased. I've had my chainlink panels, combination cattle panels and nest boxes for years. The only expense I have besides feed/DE is replacing a couple of tarps on the pens a couple of times a year. No light or heat out there, so no added electric bill. My hens do a great job, so no incubator. If I were ever to sell eggs, the cartons would be added to the expenses. For what I can sell the eggs for when I move, it will just about alleviate the expenses.

But everyone doesn't use the same program; they use what works for them. And my simple little program works for me and my birds! :^)

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#7080 - 02/20/04 08:16 PM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Anonymous
Unregistered


OK, Rogo, your DE is $1,000 per ton which compares to $20 per ton for limestone. At 50 times the price, that, I suspect, is why DE is never seriously considered to be a calcium source in most, if not all, layer flocks.

Caveny, that is exactly why I believe a soluble calcium source would benefit poultry. The residence time for the limestone in the gut is 3 to 4 hours. I could tell you how much calcium carbonate (limestone) will dissolve in the stomach acid in that length of time, if I knew the pH of the avian gut along the way and the volume of the gut.

I don't believe that the avian gut is efficient at digesting the limestone in the time available to get it done. A soluble calcium source would put the calcium in the blood more quickly because it is already in solution ready for the calcium pumps to take it across the blood/gut barrier. Certainly the hens don't drink while they're asleep, but their skeletons act as storehouses for the calcium and there will be calcium bearing liquid in the gut and calcium in the blood stream.

Soluble calcium (calcium acetate and other calcium salts of organic acids) is actually easy to produce. Limestone in vinegar or just put limestone in a bucket of corn and water and let it ferment for a couple of days, which is how we prepare our gruel we feed as an afternoon treat.

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#7081 - 02/20/04 09:42 PM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona
Leee, you aren't building a business by paying retail for all your products are you? Products are a lot cheaper wholesale, even DE. Finding the least expensive retail product isn't the same thing; a wholesale license can make or break you.

I've found that a lot of folks are not impressed by Omega 3 and 6 and consider it the fad of the moment.

I donate my extra eggs (a lot of them) and whether an organization or an individual, none have cared how the hens are raised or how they're fed. I finally quite trying and just tell them the birds run loose around my property. That's all they seem impressed with.

I wish you well with your business.

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#7082 - 02/23/04 06:37 AM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
There is an excellet paper on Lohmann Tierzucht's Website pertaining to various percentages of calcium particle size at different phases of lay. Also the management guides for the Lohmann Tradition or LSL both have specific recommendations for dietary calcium about page 11 or so in the guides.

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#7083 - 02/23/04 09:55 AM Re: Soluble calcium in drinking water (Caveny, Ron, others...)
Anonymous
Unregistered


LOL! Rogo, no. We're not paying retail for anything anymore. LOL!

Caveny, would you please post the URL

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