Crushed oyster shells

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by TysonDSMIowa, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. TysonDSMIowa

    TysonDSMIowa In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2015
    Des Moines Iowa
    I have heard of people mixing crushed oyster shells in their chickens food to help with calcium and egg production. What is your opinion and where would one get this product?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Very bad idea. Oyster shell is an important supplement but should never be mixed with feed. The feed already has an appropriate amount of calcium depending on the life stage of the bird it is intended to feed. Layer feed is 4% calcium and intended for birds actively laying. All other feeds are 1% calcium.
    Regardless of what feed is provided, oyster shell should be in a separate container so the birds can choose whether or not to eat it. A hen laying an egg every day needs more calcium than one laying 3 eggs a week.
    If one were to mix oyster shell with their feed and coating all the particles with calcium carbonate dust, they may actually be feeding their birds as much as 8 or 10% calcium which will quickly cause renal failure.

    Almost every feed store, TSC, Farm & Home type stores carry it.
  3. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
    Hens that are laying need extra calcium to aid in the formation of the shell and prevent soft shelled or shell less eggs. They need to be on a layer feed that is formulated for laying hens and it contains some calcium. The oyster shell is a supplement they can eat if they need more and should be offered in a separate dish at all times. They will eat it if they need it. Don't mix it into the feed.
  4. oliviabasic

    oliviabasic Hatching

    Nov 4, 2015
    Oyster shells are okay, but shouldn't be mixed with your flock's feed. Another way to supplement your chickens with calcium is their own eggshells. I rinse out the eggshells and crush them into bits and my chickens prefer the eggshells over the oyster shells... Try both oyster and egg shells out; they are both good sources of calcium. Just see which one your flock likes best! [​IMG]
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wanted to add that extra calcium won't help with egg production in any way. It just replaces the calcium used to build the shell after ovulation occurs.
    Ovulation is dependent on good general nutrition - vitamins, minerals, fats and especially a complete complement of amino acids.

    Calcium needs to be in balance with phosphorus and vitamin D3 for good shell quality.

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