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Do i really need Oyster shell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nuttyredhead, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    I have 3 hens laying (out of 10). I still have them on grower/finisher, I have one who is still probably only 15 weeks. I put out Oyster shell but i am concerned they will think it is a snack! I put it in its on small feeder closer to the nesting boxes than the reg food. Will they only eat it if they need it?


  2. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    I think they eat it when they start needing it. I put it out really early and they did not touch it. As they got closer to laying they all started in on it. I put out crushed eggs shells and once in a while oyster shell. When I have it...but always the egg shells. But they also get some kind of extra calcium two or three times a week.
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    They won't snack on it until their bodies start telling them they need extra. And, when you switch them to layer feed, it already has extra calcium in it so you might find they don't need too much oyster shell to supplement the layer feed. I would just do as you are doing - leave it out free choice and let them take it when they want it.
  4. My girls are on Layena, plus they get yogurt a couple of times a week, and sometimes finely crushed egg shells. I do not offer oyster shell, and their eggs have very thick shells on them. In your case, I would free offer the oyster shell to them since they are not on layer feed yet.
  5. DPC poultry

    DPC poultry Songster

    Dec 18, 2010
    Mt. washington Ky
    are you giving them grit (small rocks)?
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I have read that it's not good to give oyster shell to them until they are of laying age. I can't say whether they would bother it if they didn't need it but developing chicks don't need the extra calcium.

    There are of course two types of grit, soluble and insoluble. Each has a different purpose. You should keep some of both out for them to choose from. I can't explain it all here but if you Google it you may find good explanations for them.

    Happy chicken keeping

  7. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    No need to worry. They might try some but what little they try will not hurt them and they won't really get into it until they need it. Once they start laying they will eat what they need.

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