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Feeding Grit and Oyster Shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jotebo, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. jotebo

    jotebo Out Of The Brooder

    I'm a newbie to keeping chickens. Two pullets for laying are arriving Wednesday. They will not be free range as we have no soil in the FL Keys. Do I need to give them grit? I will be feeding them commercial laying feed and some kitchen scraps. I have Oyster Shells to offer them. Do you just add it to their feed or put it in a pan by itself? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes to the grit. The oyster shell you can either feed separately or add to feed - your choice. Once they start laying you can crush up the egg shells and feed it back to them.
    [​IMG] Sue
     
  3. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree!!!

    I didn't know you were also going to offer the suggestion of egg shells. :)

    That's what we do at our house. Maybe this person in Florida has unlimited free oyster shells (I'm jealous) that he/she could grind up and use. If not I just take a small tupperware type container and a fork and smash, smash,smash the egg shells till they are very tiny pieces! I don't wash or dry them either. My chickens go crazy for them! Not sure if they like the shells or the whites that might be left inside. I feed them in a small dog dish that they can't tip over.

    To OP - Welcome to BYC and raising chickens!!!! I have been raising mine since March. I have a few links under my signature line that might help you - How to build an automatic waterer (that stays clean and you dont' have to fill all the time), How to build a 5 gallon bucket feeder (that also is clean and lasts a long time) and how to make an automatic coop door! I swear by these 3 things as I spent hours and hours on this website and Google looking for the best of each......... Check out my links below.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    I 'bake' my egg shells for about an hour in low heat oven, then smash 'em up, I don't clean them either! I briefly looked at your links - I'm going to have to study them in detail, I so object to paying an 'arm & leg' for stuff you can make yourself. I'm pretty good at basic woodwork, however, electrical/electronics is a source of frustration usually - maybe I'll have to learn some patience first [​IMG] Sue
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    [​IMG]

    Your birds will need access to some grit, it's what helps them grind up the scraps. They don't need much, and I just toss it on the floor of the run and let them scratch around for it. I figure that's what chickens in the wild would do all day, scratch around for food, so I try to encourage the same behaviors. I do the same with the oyster shell. Young pullets, just starting to lay, really don't need much if any oyster shell, especially if you're feeding a layer ration that already has additional calcium in it. You can just skip the oyster shell, or if you do want to feed it don't stress if they don't eat any. You can also just feed their egg shells back to them. I don't crush, bake, clean or scrape my egg shells. Crack the egg, toss the shell halves in a bowl, empty the bowl in the run every day or so. Never had a hen eat eggs from eating uncrushed/unbaked egg shells in 20 years.
     
  6. jotebo

    jotebo Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you so much for your reply. It was very, very helpful.
    My girls will be arriving mid, next week and I think I am all prepared.
     
  7. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not good with that stuff either, but making the things I did was so easy anyone could do it........ even me!
     

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