Calcium is an integral part of the bone structure, the chickens including gamefowls needed calcium for growth and maintenance of their bones, beak and nails.
Calcium in growing chicks
Bones is a major factor for the chicks optimum growth. Without calcium, bone would not develop with the right size and density. So not enough calcium results to a lesser height of the gamefowl. So growers need to assess their system if calcium are within the right amount.
Signs of Calcium-related problems in chicks.
- Chicks has a lame walk with a stiff-legged gait.
- Retardation of Growth
- Enlargement of the hock joints (appears as swollen knees)
The above sign will show as early as a month of the chicks age.
Poor quality ration
In mid 2000s there are cases around the country, Philippines with the above symptoms. The common factor of those farms, including ours, that experienced such is a feed. It was hypothized that the feed has an imbalance of Calcium and Phosphorus.
After several years, there were no more reports of such cases. We assumed that the feed company corrected the imbalance. Though we never use the feed as soon as we experienced it.
For Growers, we deeply recommend using proven feeds available in your locality. And there are lots of proven feeds out there, please refrain from using broiler feeds. Broiler feeds don’t have the right formulation for the growing chicks.
Calcium on Breeders
The hens of course need it for their eggs, a 650 mg of calcium lactate is needed for every egg. Hens store calcium in their legs for the coming laying. But the question is how much they had stored? It would simply rely on how much you had given them as it would be the major basis for how much they could get.
So give them plenty of calcium when you prepare them for breeding season and the breeding activity itself. Lack of calcium on hens will make their eggs easily break. and if a little lesser it may won’t even have any shell at all. So give this 650 mg of calcium lactate everyday when you prepare them and for every egg they lay comes breeding proper.
If using old brood fowls it is also advised to supplement them with Calcium. As bones comes less denser.
Calcium for the Fighters
And for the gamecocks they need this for power as calcium is needed to help the muscles contract and expand. Lesser contraction and expansion of muscle will result to a lesser power. and also calcium are used to be some kind of buffer for the lactic acid (also practiced for athletes) in the muscles so it will still have the power. Lactic acid will greatly lessen the mobility of muscles. You might wanna read Vitamin B15 for a more reliable buffer for lactic acids.
Lack of bone density will make the bone easy to break. We know a farm that uses a low quality feed and they have lots of cases of ribs getting broken when sparring. When we investigate their system, we hypothized that it is because of a poor quantity and poor balance of Calcium and phosphorus.
Even some grains are a good source of calcium, that’s why they are added these to the whole grains mixture, such as the mung beans and other legumes. The thing is grains naturally have phytic acid. And this phytic acid negatively affect Calcium absorption, as well as phosphorus in high ammounts (1)
Black soldier fly larvae are rich in calcium along with other minerals and many amino acids. It is a great snacks as for gamefowls.
Most of the formulated feeds are portified with calcium. Formulated for different age of gamefowls with a balancing factor of quality and price.
Usually these feeds are enough for a balanced diet. Since most pellets are high in energy and ussualy contributes to gamefowl fats, feeders often use the pellets on a lesser amount than the feed company’s recommended amount. Resulting to a needed to supplementation of calcium and other nutrient.
And take note calcium are absorbed more efficiently if accompanied by vitamin D and Phosphorus with the right ammount, or at least if there are right amount available vitamin D and Phosphorus in the gamefowls body. It will be the best if we give this calcium balanced together with vitamin D and Phosphorus.
- Sight and Life. Vitamins and Minerals: a brief guide. Basel, Switzerland: Sight and Life Press, cc. page 20
- MSD Animal Health (2013). Important Poultry Diseases – Keep up the defense. Whitehouse Station: Intervet International B.V.. p 27
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