Calcium supplementation- is it necessary

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beau coop, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wondering if commercial feed for egg layers complete nutrition specifically formulated for egg laying poultry, why do we need to offer oyster shells to our girls?

    oops! mods! This is for the section on feeding- sorry- please move.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If your egg shells are solid and not soft, you don't need to supplement. Layer feed should have all the calcium you need, but if you feed things other than layer feed, like treats, you might need to supplement. Let the quality of your egg shells tell you.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I agree. The layer feed I use has calcium in it but it's a small percentage, something like 3-4%. I've found that if I don't supplement with oyster shell the eggshells are not a hard as I like them to be. Some hens have more of a need for calcium than others, just like with humans.
    Oyster shell is cheap. I pay 20 cents a pound. Worth it to me.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    From her other posts, Gritsar's lucky in that her chickens spend most of the day roaming around eating things other than packaged chicken feed, so her percentage of calcium from chicken feed is pretty low. We all have different set-ups and feed differently. I have to keep mine penned since they like to play in the road so most of what they eat is packaged chicken feed. You'd think from the name of the game that they would have an advantage, but in truth they seldom win when they play "chicken" with the neighbors' pick-up trucks.
     
  5. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Mine are out roaming most of the time and they get treats as well. I have it in the coop for them 24/7 if they want it. They eat it in spurts but I let them decide. They do the same with the grit.
     
  6. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] LOL. Oh my!

    My girls have nice hard shells without additional supplementation. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a bad chicken mom. I do have a bag of shells so I could offer it to them just in case someone gets a mad craving for some calcium.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Free range chickens have their games too. I've learned not to spook the cows when they are peacefully grazing in the same field with the chickens. If I do, chickens go flying everywhere while trying to avoid the hooves of deranged heifers. [​IMG]
    DH casually suggested that we might want to build an extremely large pen when I get lots more chickens in the spring. I gave him my best blank stare when I asked...."ummmm, why?" [​IMG]
     

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