Feed ratio question for new layers


Jul 23, 2018
Kootenai County, ID
Hello all! Not sure if this is the right spot to post, so if I'm not in the right spot sorry :confused:

Anyway, I have been noticing some feathers rather askew on some of my birds and they've been pecking at each other more, so I am concerned about possibly feather-picking starting :( I have supplemental lighting so they aren't molting.

Anyway, I got a higher protein feed plus oyster shell (the feed is flock raiser) to help up the protein a bit in case they're slightly protein-deficient (they have 16% Dumor feed at the moment).

My question is- what percentage of OS to feed ratio do I need to do so that those who are laying are getting enough calcium? Or should I do OS free-choice in a separate container? I really don't have the extra space for a separate container in the coop, hence the question :) I'd really rather mix it than have to figure out a container that they won't tip over but isn't huge either, since the run isn't covered yet (wire cover, not hard rain proof cover yet. Was going to do it this weekend but hubby got sick yesterday and I can't reach a lot of what needs doing, and I can't lift the posts til after surgery in a few weeks).

Thanks :)


Spring has sprung!
Jul 23, 2018
Edgewood, KY
I mix my poultry grit in my feed for same reason and so it is not wasted. I may add in oyster shell as well at 1Lb. Per 20 lbs of feed because my chickens are consuming a lot free choice.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You can mix the feed to use up the layer, but still put out an OS feeder.
I ziptied mine the the mesh(see below) it doesn't matter if the OS gets wet.
If it fills with water pop a drain hole or two in the bottom.
You can also toss some out in the run.
Might want to give some animal protein as well.
Pecking feathers can be from crowding and 'boredom' as well as lack of protein,
so look at that also.

ETA: 32oz salsa bottle/jar.

Last edited:


Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
Connecticut, USA
I use a 40 ounce pail I got at TSC. I drilled several 1/8 inch holes in the bottom to drain moisture. I removed handle and use a eye screw to secure to stud in a corner. 20180718_091524.jpg I have one for Poultry Grit and one for Oyster Shells. You can mix Oyster Shells in feed 1 pound to 20 pounds of feed, But you may have a lot of waist. If you notice it building up in, or under feeder reduce the amount added.
I also add Oyster Shells and Poultry Grit to Scratch Grains, 1 to 20 and 1 to 40 respectively and Scatter in their pen over straw so they have to scratch and peck. 20180621_164222.jpg Their favorite past time. GC

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