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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by animal_lover03, Sep 22, 2009.
If its already in the feed do I need to provide more of it??
I am feeding layer feed with 4% calcium. Even with that I still have birds going to the free-choice feeder with oyster shell in it.
So I should provide some of it??
Yes, if they want it, they'll eat it
If your egg shells arent too thin you probably dont really need it
how early do I need to start free choice of oyster shells? Do I only need it if their egg shells are too thin? Do I need a free choice container for granite grit too?
I added it because I have gotten a few weak shells. I hate sticking my thumb through an egg shell while I am rinsing dooky off the shell before I crack the egg or set out to boil it. I set it out after I had already gotten some weak shells, so a month or so after the pullets had started laying. I filled a 3-pound plastic Little Giant feeder and hung it. The level went down by half over the course of about two weeks, and has decreased a little bit over the course of the following week. It'll be a while before it's empty.
Whether they need grit depends on whether you have enough smallish rocks around for them to eat. The soil here is essentially loamy sand but my driveway is crushed limestone -- which won't last any time at all in a chicken's gizzard. I have another small hanging feeder on order for grit. I expect the level will drop precipitously when I first fill it then will decline somewhat slower after that, as in 1/3 to 1/2 gone in the first two weeks then empty after six months.
Quote:How long did it take for you eggs to have strong egg shells after you started feeding the crushed oyster shells?
If you intend to hatch eggs, make sure you give the chickens calcium only when needed. The eggs actually become too hard for some of the peeps to break out of. I was told that if a peep couldn't break out, it was going to be too weak to survive. I've hatched too many eggs to believe that.
Quote:We live in the city and our city ordinances say we can only have 5 and if we want more we have to get a animal maintenance permit and even then we can only get 6-12. So I probably wont be going for hatching...at least for now! Plus we cant have a rooster in town. I hope to move out to the country someday and then we can go for baby chicks! We are just getting some small scale practice for now!