9 week olds are eating oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ShaggysGirl, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Songster

    May 24, 2009
    Temperance, MI
    Hi Guys,
    Last week we put our 8 week olds in with the 18 week olds. They are on a Kent multi flock right now but we may be moving to Buckeye big 4 soon. They have a small bucket of grit and one with oyster shell in it. This AM I noticed a cochin pullet eating the oyster shell [​IMG] Is that ok?

  2. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    They should not have additional calcium at this age as too much can harm their kidneys. [​IMG] I don't know exactly what "too much" is but definitely not layer feed (is that what Kent multi flock is?). I am not sure how to stop this but how are you separating their main feed from the older ones?
  3. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    I had the same problem. The little girls 9 weeks old are finally integrated with the 2 big gals 18 months and they could not keep their little beaks out of the layer crumbles. At first I wasn't concerned then I kept reading about the calcium and the problems it could cause. So, I took advice and switched to all purpose flock food with free choice oyster shell. I was told that the little gals would know not to eat the oyster shell and the big girls would eat it if they needed it. Now you have me worried. I just put the oyster shell out today. Everybody has been outside running about so I don't think they have even noticed the oyster shell yet. I am going to leave it for now and watch. I thought that with everyone integrated the problems were over.....apparently not![​IMG]
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I wouldn't worry about it. Chickens are remarkable at regulating their needs when they have options. I highly doubt the young ones will poison themselves with oyster shell. Do make sure they are getting enough protein though, layer feed is low in protein.
  5. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Songster

    May 24, 2009
    Temperance, MI
    Thanks, Kents multi flock doesn't have calcium in it and it has 18% protein. I was just surprised to see a 9 week old eating the oyster shell

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by