Do I need layer feed AND oyster shell both?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DebB11, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. DebB11

    DebB11 Chirping

    Mar 21, 2011
    I finally got my 1st egg today .....YEAH!!!

    and it's time for more feed..... I have some grower left and will buy some layer tonight to add to I also need the oyster shell?


  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    The layer feed has the calcium that they need. They'll also pick up minerals while free-ranging. It doesn't hurt to provide some oyster shell on the side, but it's not really necessary.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2011
  3. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I believe you do. You can also bake the used eggshells in a 350 degree oven to kill bacteria, crush them very finely, and give them that. Holy recycling, Batman!
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Well, in theory, the layer feed should supply all of the calcium they need. But, in the real world, I've found that I often get thin, weak shells unless they have access to oyster shell. It's cheap and easy to give to them, so I just do it. Its not much fun trying to pick up an egg and have it fall apart into a drippy mess in your hands, so better safe than sorry.

  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:I do mine in the microwave on high for about 4 to 5 minutes, on a glass or corningware plate/pan. They stink, but when done, all of the egg bits are dark brown ash, and the shells are super crispy and crumble easily.

    It does stink up the kitchen, though, like burning egg.
  6. GableBabble

    GableBabble Ninja Chicken Herder

    May 27, 2010

    I am not sure that they have to have both, but we provide both for them. We just do it as an extra measure.
  7. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Songster

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    We have a feed container full of oyster shell so they can eat it at will..........

  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    layer have all they need, but will not hurt to give oyster shells. or the baked egg shell ....not raw eggs shell.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Let your egg shells tell you. If you consistently have thin shells, offer oyster shell on the side. If your shells are fine, you don't need it. You don't mention how you feed them. Is Layer all they eat, do you feed treats, or do you let them free range, though these really don't matter that much. Your egg shells will tell you if you need to offer it regardless of how they eat.

    It never hurts to offer it on the side. If they don't need it, they won't eat it and it will last a long long time. Oyster shell is pretty inexpensive anyway.

  10. DebB11

    DebB11 Chirping

    Mar 21, 2011
    our chickens are fed grower still..... I don't consider them free range but I do let them out some during the day but not much since now they have no interest in going in their portable run...

    the shell on the egg we got today seemed fine but I will get some oyster shell to offer anyway...

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