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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickChick16, Jun 14, 2016.
should you mix the oyster shells in with the layer feed or offer it seperately?
Hi, welcome to BYC!
Always separately. They will only take what they need. But if it's mixed in they can't avoid it and too much calcium causes kidney issues.
ok thank you , someone told me to mix it.. and i wasnt sure.
I am no expert, and you may never notice a problem if you do mix it. But I promise you on this one... separate is best. Also don't give layer feed until they are actually laying, it usually has 4% calcium which is too much for non-layers.
they are all laying... 3 days and a dozen eggs between 8 birds.
seem to be quite happy .. just want to make sure i do it right... the reds i have came from a bad situation and acted like they were starved for the first few days, but seem to be slowing down on "scarfing" the food.... thank you
Layer feed is nutritionally complete feed, with enough calcium for eggshell production. You shouldn't need to have oyster shell in addition to layer feed.
If you feed extras, treats, scratch grains, or free range then you may want to consider switching to a higher protein feed like a grower or all flock. Then you would absolutely need crushed oyster shell, offered separately.
Great information! I've been thinking about this too. My chicks are about 8 weeks old (5 pullets and 11 roosters) and the man at the feed store said I needed to feed them chick starter until about 15 weeks old. I guess then it will be regular chicken scratch until the girls start laying. I've been giving them ground up egg shells but they don't seem to care for them. My chicks are all free-range now but I'm thinking about putting the girls in a chicken trailer when the roosters hormones kick in or at least until at least 10 go into the freezer this fall. For now they only battle each other and ignore the ladies.
Scratch is not 'feed', it's a supplement or treat. Layer feed is for actively laying birds only. If you can't get a grower, all flock, flock raiser, or unmedicated starter; you can feed them turkey or game bird feed.
there's no right or wrong with this
since either way it will ended up in the same place anyway
Just for ease of providing it to the flock, I'd just keep them separate and offer it free-choice.
The chickens will eat when they want and pick up the oyster shell when they want.