Additional grit and oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mi2bugz, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2013
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    I was told by a woman that works at the feed store and raises chickens that if you feed dumour feed additional grit and oyster shell isn't necessary. Is this true? Should I still offer it? They are on the finisher right now.

    If oyster shell is for additional calcium and too much calcium is harmful for chickens is it ok to offer a bin of oyster shell and will it hurt the rooster if he gets too much calcium? I was thinking of 2 separate bins in addition to their feed bin - one for the grit and another for the oyster shell.

    Also...how much space is needed for each chicken at the feed bin. I am thinking mine is too small for 4 chickens. I thought I read enough room for one chicken to feed at a time but mine seem to like to eat at the same time.
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  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Grit is to help the bird digest food. commercial feed--any type, not just Dumor-- doesn't really need grit as it softens and breaks down just by being moist inside the bird. If you want to feed scraps, scratch, free range, pretty much anything other than commercial chicken feed, your birds need access to grit. Some areas have natural grit your birds can pick up in the run or free ranging. I just scatter some in the run and let them scratch around for it, to me that's more natural than eating it out of a dish.

    If the feed you're using is a layer feed with additional calcium, you don't need oyster shell. If it doesn't have extra calcium, oyster shell is fine. My roosters don't eat the oyster shell at all, they're just not interested, so I don't worry about them getting too much calcium. They seem to self-regulate quite well. I feed the oyster shell the same way as the grit--tossed on the ground. Gives them something to do!

    If you have feed free choice, you feeder is plenty big. Chickens are like hogs and children, they're competitive eaters and one eating makes the whole group want to go eat also. But if there's always feed available, they're fine.
     

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