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does anyone have trouble with hens not eating oyster shells?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chixcoop, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been trying to add oyster shells as a part of my hens diet, but they will not touch them! I have tried to mix it in with their scratch, and then feed it to them, but they know the difference and do not eat it. The oyster shells are moderatly big, and I was considering grinding them down somehow, to make it to a very fine powder, but other than that, I am not very sure what to do.
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Oyster shells (calcium) are needed to form the shell during the egg laying process thereby depleting the store of calcium in a chickens system. Chickens that are of laying age need it to prevent soft shelled or shell less eggs. It should be offered as free choice so the chickens can take (eat) what they need. So the big question is...

    Are your chickens laying eggs yet? If not, then likely they don't need the extra calcium and are getting what they need from their regular feed. If they are, then perhaps a more knowledgeable person will come along and provide some insight.
     
  3. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah they have ben laying for about 1.5 or so months, and i have got quite a few shell-less eggs. They do not eat it when offered as a free choice, but they still need the calcium.
     
  4. galvinj

    galvinj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are all of your hens laying? If they are and no rooster, switch to layer ration. I feed grower and have oyster shell on the side in a containor. It's consist of very small pieces and the hens who are laying eat it regularly. Try crushing it smaller.
     
  5. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    One thing you could possibly try is liquid calcium supplement. I haven't tried it as I have not needed to and someone else here may be able to provide information on it (positive/negative and what type/brand). I happened to see it while gathering supplies from Tractor Supply the other day. It can be added to their water.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    My belief is shell-less eggs aren't necessarily from low calcium, especially in new layers. It's more of a production line glitch. A brand new layer should have a good store of calcium already and not necessarily need supplements right off. Are you feeding layer or grower? If you're feeding layer, chances are they have all the calcium they need and are passing on they oyster shell with good sense. I'd continue to offer it just in the run, they'll start picking at it if/when they need the additional boost. As for the shell-less eggs, that's usually something you just have to wait out, supplementing doesn't change that much.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no rooster. I will try to crush the shells smaller!
     

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