Aragonite is Fertrell’s preferred form of calcium for animals. It generally runs at about a 38% calcium. Similar to lime, aragonite is a calcium carbonate, but the biggest difference is that limestone is rock while aragonite is predigested seashells. Because aragonite is already digested, it makes the calcium more available to the animal.
Aragonite is found naturally in mollusks and coral. Mollusks are sea animals like clams or snails that have a shell. The shell is made up of mostly calcium that has already been digested by the animal. Aragonite is also used by some corals for their skeleton. Many marine regions and beaches are made of largely aragonite, which is the naturally broken up shells and skeletons of mollusks and coral parts. The Atlantic gulf stream currents and ocean waves break the aragonite particles to sand size particles. Fertrell’s aragonite comes from the Bahamas where it is dredged out of canals. The gulf stream will continue to deposit the shell and coral fragments, which makes aragonite a natural and renewable resource.
Over the past 20+ years of working with poultry growers. Fertrell has experienced better calcium utilization by poultry when using aragonite. While the observations are purely anecdotal and there are many variables in any farming system, we typically see egg production flocks maintain 2% – 3% cracked eggs when using crushed or pulverized limestone – calcium carbonate. When flocks have changed from limestone calcium to aragonite for calcium, most of the time the we see the percentage of crack reduced by 50%. That would bring the cracked or unsaleable eggs down to 1% - 1.5% total crack eggs. For larger scale poultry producer with high end markets the aragonite pays for itself by more saleable eggs. We have also seen better bone formation in meat production birds. Meaning less leg problems and less broken bones during processing and handling.
Dr. William Albrecht believed that calcium was the key to transporting or enabling all other minerals into plants and animals. This has to make me think the same is true in animals. But the quality and availability to be absorb of the calcium is just as important as having enough. And too much calcium can be just as bad as too little!