Feeding hens their own shells...

MLWoods

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 23, 2012
67
3
43
Cincinnati
My question was similar in nature to Coltsfoot (the original post is this thread) and its this:
Does the constantly recycled calcium degrade or become less readily available for the hen to use? In essence does is wear out? My girls started laying in January and the oyster shell I bought when they were chicks in preparation for the egg laying days ended up getting wet in the garage making it unusable, so I figured I would just do this until I could get out to the suburbs where a TSC is. I don't see any reason to make a special trip now, it i was just worried about quality.
Thanks :)
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium member
9 Years
The mineral calcium is always there. But......

The issue becomes this. Is the particle size appropriate for the hen to use? There is some discussion about that recently. As I have come to understand the studies seem to indicate that the size of the particle of calcium is important. I think Mac in Wisco, who keeps 5000 organic hens talked about this recently and it certainly peaked my interest in the subject.
 

hemet dennis

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
3,866
102
228
Hemet,Ca. 20+chicken years
My Coop
My Coop
My question was similar in nature to Coltsfoot (the original post is this thread) and its this:
Does the constantly recycled calcium degrade or become less readily available for the hen to use? In essence does is wear out? My girls started laying in January and the oyster shell I bought when they were chicks in preparation for the egg laying days ended up getting wet in the garage making it unusable, so I figured I would just do this until I could get out to the suburbs where a TSC is. I don't see any reason to make a special trip now, it i was just worried about quality.
Thanks
How would oyster shell getting wet make it unusable ? If you're feeding a good layer feed you don't need more calcium.
 

MLWoods

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 23, 2012
67
3
43
Cincinnati
I just always read on here that you should never give anything that has gotten wet and stayed that way to the chickens. That being said, I feel like a total dum-dum! Of course oysters let the shells get wet... :p he he he
 

Summerlove

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 8, 2013
192
13
83
Ontario, Canada
I heard you can do this from a friend. Here's what Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens says about it...
"Wash the shells, dry them, and crush before feeding them to your hens. Feed only shell's that have been crushed, or you may give your hens the idea of breaking and eating their own shells. Store and feed only dry shells; shells that are stored while moist will be full of harmful molds and bacteria."
 
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