Gobbling oyster shells!


9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
Hi all. I read several existing threads on this topic, but I'm still seeking more info, so my apologies for the near repetition of the question.

I got three small hens a few weeks ago, about 1-2 years old and laying well. I free feed them Agway's top-line layer pellets, which according to Agway is nutritionally complete. No grit, shell, or scratch needed. Just for the heck of it, I bought some poultry shell and put a quarter cup of it in a little dish in their pen. They went nuts over it! An hour later those three hens had cleaned it all up and looked like they wanted more.

My limited understanding is that chickens self-regulate their calcium, so you can safely have shell for them to eat as they see fit. But this is weird. I don't want to poison them with too much calcium, nor do I want to deny them calcium that they might need. Any thoughts?

I would just give them more. If they are laying hens they will use the excess for shells. They should slow down their consumption soon.

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