Do my girls need oyster shells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickyboomboom, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2011
    Hi all,

    Got my first 2 eggs recently! So exciting... makes me LOVE my chickens even more! Yes, my love for them is conditional, I'll admit it!

    Anyway... with 2 of the 5 girls laying, I was wondering if I needed to introduce oyster shell? Can I introduce it when not all hens are laying? Is it dangerous for the non layers? Do you mix it into the feed or put it in treats or offer it as free choice?

    Also was wondering if Organic Pride Layer Feed is a good feed.

    I did a search for anyone else using Organic pride and only came up with 1 other saying it was good. But that's about it. I'm curious to know if it truly is a decent food. I think it was a pretty reasonable price as well... I want to say about $20 for a 50# bag... something like that.

    Anyway, if someone could weigh in?

    First 5 ingredients are ORGANIC:
    Soybean Meal
    Calcium Carbonate.

    Says 16% protein.

    My chickens get a 2 handfuls of a mixture of sunflower seeds, millet and flaxseed daily, plus the occasional treat such as canteloupe, green beans, or grapes a few times a week. Thanks so much for your replies! I would be lost without BYC!
  2. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    I'd buy some and put it in a separate container, free choice. Don't mix it with the feed or the non-laying girls will get more than they need. That said, I put it out when I got my first egg. The non-laying one was seen at the oyster shell bin, eating, just as much as the other one before she laid her first egg.
  3. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    calcium carbonate is the oyster shell, if you are feeding layer food, its in there, for me I put out some oyster shell free choice as well, and since one hen starting to lay has had brittle shells...worked very quickly I am glad to say.
  4. AV Brahmas

    AV Brahmas Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2011
    The Great White North
    All birds need minerals. Layers need more than those not laying but they still need them. Layer rations prepared commercially have, or are supposed to have, additional minerals. Regardless, it does not hurt to offer additional.

    Here we do not offer prepared feeds except as a supplement during a hard winter or for our broilers. We feed whole grains and rotate the pens out onto green pasture. I can remember one time being told by someone whose opinion I trusted that a chicken on clean grass had pretty much all they needed and the results are pretty dramatic in the Spring when they first get it. Still, we offer free choice minerals and we also mix those ourselves. The mix is pretty basic....50% large oyster shell (calcium carbonate), 10% pelleted garden lime (also calcium carbonate but in a very digestible format recommended by a professor at the Univ of Iowa), 5% loose minerals for cattle (not the type with salt), and 35% fine crushed granite grit. This is kept moist but not wet. This is offered to all of our birds free choice. Keep it clean.

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