Calcium vs oyster shell ??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by halfpynt, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. halfpynt

    halfpynt In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2007
    we are new to raising chickens,, our girls were born in April,, and should be about to start laying soon. We bought our next bag of food, and got layer to mix with their grower that they are on right now. I also bought a bag of calcium chips ,, and am not sure how to mix that in ,, or if i put it in some other dish on its own, seperate from their food.

    Which is better > Oyster shells or Calcium chips ? The woman at the local feed store told me they both do the same thing ,, and since the calcium was so much cheaper , i opted for that .
    ANy would help is appreciated ! thanks !
  2. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    I had to get calcium chips instead of oyster shell and my girls have not touched it in 2 weeks. I have it in a separate hopper. Today I added some eggshells to the hopper and it looked like they ate it up. I'm afraid the calcium chips look too big for the pullets to easily eat and digest. Just my opinion though...would love to hear others opinions.
  3. polychickens

    polychickens In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2007
    I started with a seperate bowl of OS in the coop. It doesn't get eaten very quickly so it sits much longer than feed. As a result, eventually it was on the floor. I scooped it up and threw it in the run and I plan to add another handful directly to the run when they clean up the first.

    I can see that 50 lb bag lasting a LONG time with my 40 chickens.

  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Never heard of calcium chips. My supply is of oyster shell from like 50 years ago. My grandpa used to raise chickens for production when they first got the land and I found a huge pile of the stuff in one of the collapsed barns. No barns left now... I do have to say though, the old oyster shells are about 4x larger than the new oyster shell that I've seen in the stores now!! Maybe they haven't figured out that it is good to eat?
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Hens will only consume the oyster shell or calcium chips if they need it. Most hens start to need it after they have been laying awhile. Providing it free choice is the way to go. When the hens need the additional calcium ( which they will ) it is there for them. It will amaze you how much they eat when their body is telling them they need it. Right now being pullets and not stressed from laying, the need isn't there, but it will be. Good Luck....


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