Force-molted White Leghorn laying hens were implanted with 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 3 Compudose 200 pellets (24 mg 17 beta estradiol/pellet). Plasma estradiol increased with increasing E2 dosages in a linear manner and decreased over time in a quadratic manner (P < 0.01). E2 treatment had a nonlinear effect on total plasma calcium. Oviduct weight, shell thickness and egg weight were not significantly affected by exogenous estradiol whereas tibial bone ash percentage was increased at only one dose (P < 0.05:0.5 pellet group). Physiological supplementation with estradiol does not improve shell quality.