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Egg shell vs Oyster shell

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I was wondering what everyone's opinion is on feeding egg shell vs. oyster shell?!?!  I always dry my egg shells, crush them and then feed them to my girls....but I wonder if I could just stop feeding the oyster shell since im feeding the egg shell!?!?  cool

post #2 of 18

You aren't alone; lots of people do this.

I throw the shells away and offer oyster shell.  It takes them months to eat a small $6 bag of it.  I don't want to feed egg shells by themselves, and I don't want to mix them into a food they like, thus ensuring they eat them whether they want them or not.

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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post #3 of 18

I'm the opposite........I just feed my shells back. I don't crush them or anything and have not had to invite a hen to dinner big_smile  for eating eggs. I do think the calcuim starts to get used up after a while, it had been almost 8 months since last feeding oyster shell that I noticed the shells were not as strong. I then bought a bag of oyster shell and fed it over a month or so, back to nice hard egg shells. By the way, have you cracked a store bought egg after getting used to the force needed to crack a backyard egg? Those things feel SO fragile and the shells just kinda crackle tongue

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Rachel BB

 

I will praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands. For Your are who You are, no matter where I am. Every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hands. You've never left my side, and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm. 

 

Please donate blood  http://www.redcross.org/blood

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post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawn 

You aren't alone; lots of people do this.

I throw the shells away and offer oyster shell.  It takes them months to eat a small $6 bag of it.  I don't want to feed egg shells by themselves, and I don't want to mix them into a food they like, thus ensuring they eat them whether they want them or not.


This is what I do too.

I think feeding the shells back to the hens can work really well for a small flock, where you're using most of the egg yourself, especially if you're already feeding a layer feed that has some extra calcium in it.

In my situation it's just not practical. I have around 40 birds (not all layer, or even chickens) and I feed the whole flock gamebird feed which doesn't have extra calcium in it like layer does. I also sell a lot of my eggs so don't have nearly enough shells to make a difference if I were to feed them back to the girls. The oyster shell is an inexpensive and easy way to make sure that my girls have enough calcium.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae 

I'm the opposite........I just feed my shells back. I don't crush them or anything and have not had to invite a hen to dinner big_smile  for eating eggs. I do think the calcuim starts to get used up after a while, it had been almost 8 months since last feeding oyster shell that I noticed the shells were not as strong. I then bought a bag of oyster shell and fed it over a month or so, back to nice hard egg shells. By the way, have you cracked a store bought egg after getting used to the force needed to crack a backyard egg? Those things feel SO fragile and the shells just kinda crackle tongue


It might be the breed. My white Leghorns have considerably thinner shells than my other breeds. They've always had thinner shells than my other girls (such as red and black sexlinks and BO's now BR's and BCM's) but it has gotten considerably worse with age. One of my BR's knows this and only tries to eat the white eggs he but darkening the nest box seems to have helped that little problem.

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One thing is for sure. The price of a dead hen is a dead pred.
Trapping the trap-savvy raccoon
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post #6 of 18

Aloha,

I am partial to both.  One, egg shells, are easier to obtain because  the hens lay them. But the process of the work, I often forget about.  But I also like Oyster shell because the drying process and then crushing is already done for you you just have to pay for it.  They both have calcium, that hens need for healthy bones and nice firm eggshells.  So I just do both that way if I can't get to the store I have a supply at home till I get it my next trip into town. 
Mahalo....

    Dee   
"an individual among individuals"
Proud Parent of Non-Standard/Feral Ameracunas (EE), Feral Game hens, Black Sex-Linked, Cornish-xs Barred Rocks, RIR/Productions, and Bantams.  Oh Yeah Fish and Cats.   
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    Dee   
"an individual among individuals"
Proud Parent of Non-Standard/Feral Ameracunas (EE), Feral Game hens, Black Sex-Linked, Cornish-xs Barred Rocks, RIR/Productions, and Bantams.  Oh Yeah Fish and Cats.   
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post #7 of 18

I always feed back the shell.  I usually bake them for a little bit so that I can crush them.  I feed them to the chickens straight (not mixed with food).  Just keep check on the shell and if they are still laying a little thin feed some osyter shell.  A chicken will only eat so much of either, as they want it.  I thorugh mine in the pen so that they have something to peck at, because that is what they like to do.

   I figure ehat they don't eat they tromp into the ground and make it richer for gardening if I ever get a garden that far out.

post #8 of 18

I do both.  The egg shells I dry, crush, and mix into their mash feed.  The oyster shell I put in its own hopper.  I sell eggs so I never have enough of our own egg shells for what the hens need.

Chance favors the prepared mind.
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Chance favors the prepared mind.
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very much for your input big_smile  Ive just been feeding my girls the egg shell and the eggs ive been getting back seem firm soooo I guess all is well?!?! Ill make sure I keep an eye out for soft shells and add the oyster if needed

post #10 of 18

I do both.  I dry and crush the egg shells and have a divided container - oyster shells on one side, egg shells on the other.  They prefer the egg shells, but with egg production down this time of the year I don't have enough to feed them exclusively.

Chillin' in the country with Chickens & Ducks.
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Chillin' in the country with Chickens & Ducks.
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