Girls won't eat oyster shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by P-Funk, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,086
    19
    166
    Feb 20, 2011
    Franktown
    I mix crushed shells into a mix of pellets and crumbles. Lately I've noticed the only thing left at the bottom of the bell feeder is shells. They are eating around them to the point where they are jumping up onto the little stand and picking pellets from the top of the feeder. They free range every evening in an area comprised mostly of gravel and dirt. Do they need the shells at all?
     
  2. 12321

    12321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    3
    73
    May 27, 2012
    You may be expecting them to eat more than they need. They're probably eating some and getting enough. A lot of people just give the shells free choice in a different bowl/feeder. Some of my hens will eat it out of my hand, others just want to spill it on the ground and others just don't care. They usually know what they need. Unless you're getting soft shelled eggs, they're getting enough.
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    47
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Their regular layer ration should have what they need for calcium, you're not going to force them to eat more if they don't need it. Just put some out in a separate feeder. They may not touch it for months, but they will eat it when they need it.

    Too much calcium can cause thin shell eggs too as there is calcium/phosphorous balance that must be maintained. They will excrete excess calcium along with phosphorous and end up short on phosphorous.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by