Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Carbonated Water for Chickens?


My girlfriend, who is a Chemistry Teacher is over for lunch and she read something interesting about carbonated water and chicken eggs...I have no idea if this is true and am wondering if any of you bird brainy types can help...According to "Chemistry in the Community" Textbook, chickens pant to cool themselves causing them to loose carbon dioxide (carbon) which is a necessary component for the development of the eggshell. So the suggestion is to give your chickens carbonated water to replenish carbon loss and strengthen the eggshell...anyone doing this?

4 comments:

Linda said...

I linked to your blog through my Google Blog Alerts, and just had to comment.

I give my hens crushed oyster shell (calcium) so they lay sufficiently hard-shelled eggs. Without the supplement, they may still lay good eggs, but it would shorten their lifespan since their bodies would "rob Peter to pay Paul," so to speak, and use calcium that is best used to keep their bones strong to produce eggshells. (Women take pre-natal vitamins when pregnant for a similar reason, I guess.)

Never heard about the carbonated water theory. I did have a friend who helped do fact-checking editing of text books and it was amazing some of the psuedo-science stuff she would have to comment on. This sounds like one of them.

I suppose only a poultry specialist could answer definitely here, but a chicken's ability to extract nutrients from it's food isn't so radically different than a human's that they would actually be able to absorb carbon from carbonated water. We don't do that. All I can think of it doing to a chicken is making it pass the gas one way or the other.

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks for commenting, I've heard about the crushed oyster shell and I've also heard that they can eat their own shells.

Not good news about Chemistry books lacking sound facts...

MrGrackle said...

Since you live in Austin your water is filled with calcium carbonate. Our water comes out of the tap at 8.6 pH because we're in limestone country and our water supply is the Colorado river. I can't find any documentation (I just tried) but in the past I thought I read that the city of Austin takes carbon dioxide out of the tap water before it gets sent down the pipe.

Michelle said...

Before dissing the chemistry books, it's useful to check facts. Yes, giving hens carbonated water does improve shell thickness (See paper here.)