Egg vs oyster shells again.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FlyWheel, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    As I have my three month old pullets/cockerel running around with the grown-ups I have substituted the normal laying pellets with grow crumbles. However as the adult hens are laying I also have a bin of crushed egg shells to make up for the lack of calcium in the crumbles and was wondering about the effectiveness of egg vs. oyster as a calcium supplement. I have read in other posts that most of the shell passes through the chicken without being absorbed so I dry out the shells in the oven and grind them up into grains the size of fine sand in the hopes that more will be 'digested' and absorbed. Will this work? Or should I be giving my laying birds oyster instead of egg shells? The shells she has been laying look OK, but I want to be sure.

    Once the pullets start laying I will of course be giving everyone lay pellets.
     
  2. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Place a feeder of each kind of food out and let then eat which one they want. This is what I just did for my of about the same age. I have a feeder of lay and a feeder of grower finisher out as well as a feeder of scratch for the rooster. They all eat what they want. Chicks stay with thier food and hens bounce around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Scratch is not a feed, and should be offered in limited amounts. Layer feed is only suitable for actively laying birds. Grower/finisher is appropriate for all.
     
  4. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I set the scratch out for the rooster because he doesn't need the lay or Grower finisher. It is only set out once a week as a treat. It is not really scratch it is a 5 grain mix that has corn, barely, sunflower seeds, i think oats and something else it is wonderful. I get it at TSC
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It still scratch. And he needs a complete and balanced diet, just as much as the other birds.
     
  6. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    No scratch - don't need it as they are semi-free range; they have a 250+ ft2 pen to roam around and scratch in. I have their feed bins on a shelf bolted to the coop wall and a smaller bin which I fill with the ground shells. The laying hen pecks in the egg shell bin but the younger birds (and the rooster) ignore it.

    So, will the finely ground egg shells provide enough calcium to make up for what's missing in the grow feed? she never takes in more than I put out for her. At least I assume so, the bin in never empty when I go to feed them and collect the eggs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I've never had an issue with either source of calcium.
     

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