So I went to my feed supply store to price food for chickens. I asked about Oyster shells and grit to go with the chicken food. I am told that the food is not like the olden days where you had to buy some of everything. Now it comes in all in one bag. Is this true or do I need to buy seperate grit and oyster shells?
All in one feed?
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I buy feed, grit, and oyster shell separately. I don't mix my own feed so can't advise on that, but you could search making your own feed in the search bar. Sounds like you are doing great in the meal worm (treat) category!
I mix some grit (not a lot) with their feed and offer the oyster shell in a separate dish.
Layer feed is a complete, and nutritionally balanced feed, with all the calcium that a hen needs for strong eggshells. Grit is small pieces of stone that are needed for proper digestion. Chickens don't have teeth. Their food is ground up in the gizzard. For their food to be ground adequately, they need to swallow bits of grit.
Layer feed should not be offered until the birds are all actively laying. And depending on your management, it might not be the right choice of feed for your flock. If you free range, have male birds in the flock, or like to treat your girls to scraps and treats, you may want to keep them on a high protein grower to balance their diet. In which case, you will also need to provide them with crushed oyster shell.
Safe to offer grit and oyster shell free choice.
If they need extra, they will eat it..