Gobbling oyster shells!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TimM, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

    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?

  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    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.
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Let them have all they want. If you don't have any gravel in the pens with them they'll also use it for grit.
  4. imusa76

    imusa76 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Mine did the same the first day, now once everyother week I might add some.

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