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Crushed oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Manok-Tao, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Manok-Tao

    Manok-Tao Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2010
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    Do feed stores normally carry this? If so what size does it come in, whats the use rate for; say 10 birds? A local restaurant will likely give me a tonnage of shells, can I use them and grind/pulverize them up; if so how fine does it need to be?
    John
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I used to buy it at the feedstore a couple of pounds at a time. They would repackage it from the 50# bags into ziplock bags and sell a couple of pounds for a couple of bucks. It's hard to say what they will consume. They eat it as they need it. You may not go through any for a few months and then all at once they are munching through it.

    You can throw shells in a canvas bag and smash them with a hammer. The ones I used to get from the feed store were pretty course, almost like pea gravel. If you smash them to M&M size or a even a bit larger it will do.
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    An easy way to crush them is put them in a burlap bag and drive your car over then a few times
     
  4. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    hello [​IMG]

    My feed store keeps the oyster shell in a scoop section so you get the amount you like. I think its around 50 cents a pound and they have the bags for us to fill ourselves.

    Good luck!!
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I actually have not purchased oyster shell, as I reuse egg shells instead. I started saving them up months before I had any laying hens. After cleaning out the egg, I put the shells on a cookie sheet. Whenever I use the oven, after I've turned it off, I put the cookie sheet in the oven so that the residual heat dries them out without burning them. Once dry, I put them in a glass jar and use a heavy ice-cream scoop to crush them. (I used to use the food processor but then someone mentioned that the plastic bowl of the food processor would be torn up by the egg shells so that's when I started using a glass jar). I keep crushing until each piece is about 1/4" across, then store them until needed. When my eldest hen started showing signs of maturity, I took a yogurt container outside and nailed it to a deck post, then filled it with the crushed egg shells. I've watched my hen go to it to eat and have even had to refill it once.

    I did have some fear that this would teach her to eat her own eggs but so far that has not been the case. I'm hoping that by "cooking" them and crushing them, they look different enough from the eggs she lays that it won't occur to her. She started laying two days after Christmas and so far has not touched her own eggs.

    I know oyster shell is not a huge expense but this way it is one less thing to have to buy and I am able to reuse something I was going to be throwing away otherwise.
     
  6. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sounds like a nice feed store to have in your area! Wish I had one that accomadating. I put my coarse stuff in a nylon feed sack or burlap bag and crush further with a hammer.
     
  7. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    Quote:My grandmother always did exactly what you do, and none of her hens ate eggs.

    So I think they do not recognize the shells as eggs when you dry and crush them.

    Catherine
     
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:My feed store carries it in a 2.5 lb bag. It's only a couple bucks. It's crushed a little finer than instant oatmeal. I have only gone through 2 bags(5 lbs) in 6 years. I usually have about 4 hens.

    Imp
     
  9. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I just let them air dry in kitchen and then when I have enough for the trouble, i take them to the basement where i keep a grain grinder and process them there. I grind some to powder consistency for adding to our oatmeal, meatloaf, casseroles, etc. There is more in them than calcium. The many trace minerals from the ground they are on is in their shells too. [​IMG]
     
  10. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    Quote:I just let them air dry in kitchen and then when I have enough for the trouble, i take them to the basement where i keep a grain grinder and process them there. I grind some to powder consistency for adding to our oatmeal, meatloaf, casseroles, etc. There is more in them than calcium. The many trace minerals from the ground they are on is in their shells too. [​IMG]

    Well, gosh. What a good idea.

    Catherine
     

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