Crushed Oyster and Eggshells

SavyNic

Chirping
Apr 9, 2020
77
101
63
Katy, TX
Hey y'all, I feel dumb for asking this question, but what age do you typically start giving your chickens crushed oyster and/or eggshell? My pullets are around 14 weeks now and we're feeding them a grower feed (whichever one is between the chick starter feed and the adult layer feed). Should I have already started giving it to them? And do you mix it in with their feed or just give it to them separately? I'm a newbie and just learning as I go! Let me know what your thoughts are! 😊
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
Premium Feather Member
May 25, 2020
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42,570
946
Western Washington
Hi! I usually start offering oyster shell (or eggshells) free-choice a little before they have started laying, at around 18 weeks. I highly recommend feeding free-choice, that way each chicken can get as much calcium that they need, so they don't get too much or too little. I hope this helps!
 

SavyNic

Chirping
Apr 9, 2020
77
101
63
Katy, TX
Hi! I usually start offering oyster shell (or eggshells) free-choice a little before they have started laying, at around 18 weeks. I highly recommend feeding free-choice, that way each chicken can get as much calcium that they need, so they don't get too much or too little. I hope this helps!
Thank you for your help! What do you mean by feeding free choice? And I’ll definitely wait a little longer before offering it... I don’t want to harm the girls!
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,162
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Connecticut, USA
what age do you typically start giving your chickens crushed oyster and/or eggshell? My pullets are around 14 weeks now and we're feeding them a grower feed
I offer Oyster Shells in a separate container after 16 weeks old. Just make sure you offer Poultry Grit before then, so they don't substitute shells for grit.
I offer Poultry Grit after 7 weeks.
I wouldn't offer egg shells till after they lay, they tend to like them.
My Golden Comets started to lay at 16 1/2 weeks. My Barred Rocks started at 20 weeks. GC
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
15,599
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SE Missouri, USA
If you provide oyster shell in a separate container, layers will take what they need when they need it. In other words, it can do no harm. For this reason, we feed an all-flock formula that contains no calcium. This way, any non-layers in our flock are not getting calcium they don't need, which could potentially damage their kidneys. Non-layers could include molting birds, roosters, broody hens with eggs or chicks, young birds and old, spent hens. Grit, as mentioned above, should also be available in a different container, and all birds need that for digestion, not for egg production. We start giving that to our chicks when they are about three days old and they get it all their lives.
 

SavyNic

Chirping
Apr 9, 2020
77
101
63
Katy, TX
I offer Oyster Shells in a separate container after 16 weeks old. Just make sure you offer Poultry Grit before then, so they don't substitute shells for grit.
I offer Poultry Grit after 7 weeks.
I wouldn't offer egg shells till after they lay, they tend to like them.
My Golden Comets started to lay at 16 1/2 weeks. My Barred Rocks started at 20 weeks. GC
Thank you!!! Very helpful info :) and I can’t wait til we get our first egg... but I have a feeling it might be the Barred Rock based on what I’ve read from others
 

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