Crush oyster shells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TomKat, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. TomKat

    TomKat Out Of The Brooder

    My flock consists of 9 bantams of various breeds. They free range which is supplemented with Layena, fruits and greens. I have oyster half shells in their coop and in the run. I have never seen any of the chickens touch the shells other than to look for a bug under them. Should I be breaking the shell up into bite-size pieces for them or are they able to break off pieces? [​IMG]
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    My Oyster shells are crushed and I mix it with the layer feed. Other's say you should give it separate as a free choice.
  3. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    They have to be crushed as far as I know. Here is an alternative that I am going to try. I have a hand grinder that is for grinding grain. I am going to grind all of our eggshells up real fine and sprinkle back in their grain in their feed trough. I may try to put it out in a bowl separately to see how it is received. If there is too much, I will scatter it on our raised garden bed to put calcium back into our soil. Why throw calcium in the garbage can?

    In fact, if we get too many eggs at times, I will either freeze them for future scrambling or baking, or I will boil them to feed back to our flock, with the shells crushed up too.
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Yes, egg shells do have calcium, but not enough to replace the oyster shells with. Also, if I understand correctly, you have to cook the shells before feeding them.

    The way I look at it is that is just too much trouble for me, for very very little benefit. Oyster shell is not that expensive, and I just serve it in a little two sided kitty dish, with granite grit in the other side. It is left out free choice. If they need it, they eat it. I don't want to be concerned with the problems that low calcium can cause. Why take the risk.

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