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Crushed oyster shells - how to feed?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

So my girls aren't at laying age yet, but in anticipation, I bought a 5 pound bag of crushed oyster shells - then it occurred to me, how do I give it to them?  Mix it up in their food?  How much?  Thanks....

-Scott

post #2 of 23

After my hens started to lay I would just put in on the ground with scratch. My uncle also says you can give them a little cat food. Just a handful or so each day.  It is very high in protein.  I use it in the winter.  I buy the more natural kind.  No added coloring. etc...  They love it and We get great eggs. no weak shells.

Good luck I know you can't wait to get eggs.smile

Susan ~
A Very understanding Husband, 10 year old son, 1 RIR Roo(Big Red), 10 EE hens, 2 Buff hens(Annie & Lucy), 1 Dom. Mix(Prissie),1 Speck. Sussex(Bobbie Sue), 3 Black Aust., 2 Silver Laced Wyn., 4 Silver Duckwing  OE Bantam hens, 5 Cuckoo Maran hens, 1 White Rock hen, 1 Dutch Male Rabbit(Sam), and a Female Golden Retriever(Sunny)
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Susan ~
A Very understanding Husband, 10 year old son, 1 RIR Roo(Big Red), 10 EE hens, 2 Buff hens(Annie & Lucy), 1 Dom. Mix(Prissie),1 Speck. Sussex(Bobbie Sue), 3 Black Aust., 2 Silver Laced Wyn., 4 Silver Duckwing  OE Bantam hens, 5 Cuckoo Maran hens, 1 White Rock hen, 1 Dutch Male Rabbit(Sam), and a Female Golden Retriever(Sunny)
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post #3 of 23

I put the oyster shells in a seperate feed dish and let them eat the oyster shell as they choose.  I usually have to refill the dish every week, I was kind of surprised, I didn't expect them to eat it at all!

I AM AN AMERICAN-AMERICAN
horses, mules, chickens, dogs, cats, garden, family
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I AM AN AMERICAN-AMERICAN
horses, mules, chickens, dogs, cats, garden, family
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post #4 of 23

You can feed the oyster shells to them in a separate feeder, or mix it in with their regular feed.

post #5 of 23

I put it in a supplement dish.  They don't seem to eat a whole lot of it, but the limestone around here may be high in calcium and giving them some when they scratch around in the dirt.

Lorie
in Middle Tennessee
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Lorie
in Middle Tennessee
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post #6 of 23

If you mix things in their food for one they are likely to dump it out on the ground to pick through it and two unless you know exactly how much to mix they may get more or less than they need.  Chickens know what they need to eat and will pick their food accordingly.  I set my feeder on one of those black pans for rabbit cages and then scatter grit, oyster shell, and treats around it.  That way it stays somewhat confined but they can scratch and pick through it.  Also catches any spilled feed and they pick it out of the mixture on the pan.

post #7 of 23

I had been mixing mine in with the feed - it's hard to find a place in the coop they don't poop on.  But putting the black feeding thing (I use one for our goats) is a great idea.  My food hangs, so I could position the pan under it, with oyster and grit.  I think I'm going to run out to the coop and do it right now!!

-Tracey

Family coordinator of: 1 husband, 3 kids, 2 horses, 1 goat, 4 dogs, 3 cats and 18 hens, and 27 chicks - just delivered April 1, 2012!!

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-Tracey

Family coordinator of: 1 husband, 3 kids, 2 horses, 1 goat, 4 dogs, 3 cats and 18 hens, and 27 chicks - just delivered April 1, 2012!!

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post #8 of 23

I use a hanging bird feeder (like this one, but slimmer) for feeding the girls oyster shell/crushed egg shells. It's worked great as it's too small for them to roost on and the small roof keeps water out of the tray area (better than I expected).


Dawn

Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
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Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
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post #9 of 23

I just throw some out in the yard every so often. Once I notice it is gone, I add some more. They mainly eat layer pellets, a little scratch and lots of bugs, so I throw some out with the scratch a couple times a week.

post #10 of 23

I put my oyster shells and granite grit in terracotta planter dishes free choice by their feeder and waterer. They take what they want..

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Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds

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HEY LOOK!!! ---> UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events

---> Florida Fair Schedule 2013/2014 and  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!

Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds

Member of the American Poultry Association &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

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