Chickens will not eat oyster grit

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Farmgirl1000, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Farmgirl1000

    Farmgirl1000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2013
    Hello everyone!
    I bought some oyster grit last week for my hens.
    I read that it helps your hen have a healthy crop and a good supply
    of calcium. They will not eat a bite of it(even if I try to feed it to them
    in the morning when they are hungry).I feed them Purina laying mash
    and they free-range for at least 2 hours each day. They also have a fresh supply
    of greens handy. Does anyone know why they will not eat the oyster
    grit? Is it because they have too much calcium in their diet?

    Thank you for any feedback!!!!

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Are they laying?

    If they are laying, even then, I wouldn't worry about it. It is good to have it there just in case they need some extra calcium. Laying mash should theoretically have enough calcium for them, but for hens that need a bit more, they will eat the oyster shell. So don't worry even if they never eat it, unless you are getting soft shelled eggs.

    I personally mix my oyster shell in the feed, as I basically make my own layer feed and my feed wouldn't have enough calcium in it. Most people are offended at this thought - but personally I have found that I have soft shelled eggs UNLESS I do this. I mean it instantly corrects the problem. So chicken keeping is something where you find your own way, and what works for one may not work for another. has mixing recommendations on their page if you are needing to mix yours in (for example if you are making your own layer feed) but DON'T mix it into commercial layer feed, as that would be way too much calcium.
    2 people like this.
  3. Farmgirl1000

    Farmgirl1000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2013
  4. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    Quote: Farmgirl:

    There is GRIT which is usually made of granite or some other quartz (a mineral)- rich rock. Quartz is a very hard mineral made of Si O2 (silicon dioxide or silica). All chickens store small, hard rocks in their gizzards to help them grind up food. They need this for proper digestion. The swallowed stones/ grit act in the bird in much the same way as our teeth.

    There is also CRUSHED OYSTER SHELL which is made of CaCO3 (calcium carbonate, mineral is calcite / aragonite in the shell form ) -- a much softer mineral. It is the mineral animals use to make shells (like the oyster). Crushed oyster shell is for hens/ pullets to get extra calcium to help them make their shells for their eggs. Crushed oyster shell is a calcium supplement (like layena feeds).

    Crushed oyster shell is not hard enough to store in the gizzard to help crush and digest food like granite grit -- two different things altogether!
    2 people like this.

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