Do they need oysters?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by grandmaof5, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that oyster shell is recommended for the calcium needs of layers, but would giving them egg-shell provide enough calcium? I've been saving egg-shells for a while, drying them out, then crushing them with a rolling pin. Do I have to buy oyster shell? Is there anyone who doesn't give this to their girls?
     
  2. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not until you run out of egg shells--there are some that argue this method had diminishing returns. BTW, from the title I thought this was a question about roosters.[​IMG]
     
  3. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:And you think it was unintentional? [​IMG]
     
  4. Jx2inNC

    Jx2inNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you feed them a quality layer's feed with plenty of calcium, they really shouldn't need any supplemental calcium.
    I'd use oyster shells if I was feeding my chickens an incomplete diet, like a concoction of scratch, oats, etc.
    There is a point to where you hit diminishing returns, like with humans eating protein. Only so much can be absorbed.
    I'd use a complete feed -- or use oyster shells as a supplement to other ingredients lacking calcium. Go from there, as if that isn't enough calcium, you'll know.

    I haven't provided oyster shells but one time quite a while back and the only issue I ever had was the oldest chick laying 2 or 3 soft shelled eggs when she first started laying.
    After I saw that, I brought in some laying mash to replace the starter/grower and she has been producing nice, HUGE, thick eggs ever since.
     
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I partially agree but over the years I've had times, especially in the winter, when the chickens on a complete layer were producing thin shelled eggs that would break in the nests. By making oyster or egg shells available the birds can get at it if they felt the need. I certainly wouldn't add it to their regular food. Also, depending on where you live and how you're managing your birds, they may be getting calcium in their free ranging diet either from lots of bugs or from the soil. As a kid growing up in the Hudson Valley where the main substratum was limestone, farmers rarely supplemented with calcium.
     
  6. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    I think oyster shell is just another option. Some people don't want to save their eggshells. I bought a bag of oyster shell thinking I HAD to provide them with it. When the bag runs out, I will go back to egg shells for calcium. It makes sense that if there are obvious changes in our eggs, we will know to reintroduce oyster shell.
     
  7. Jx2inNC

    Jx2inNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Exactly. Use it if you NEED it, but most people using high quality, complete feed likely won't.
     

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