Grit and or Oyster Shells?

Mandi M

In the Brooder
Jan 30, 2020
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Syracuse NY
Hi All!

I have had a few egg shells look a bit thin lately so I am thinking my ladies might need a bit of a calcium boost. I am wondering how you all give oyster shells, mix it in their feed or in a bowl separate?

Same with grit-how do you guys give it to them?

Thanks!!
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
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May 25, 2020
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Hi! You should feed oyster shell (eggshells work too) in a separate container free-choice, that way each individual chicken can get as much calcium as they need, and don't eat too much or too little. Same with grit. You want to serve it in a separate container. I hope this helps!
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
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*If you give them eggshells, make sure to crush them up well so that they don't resemble eggs, which can lead to the nasty habit of egg-eating. I like to rinse out my eggshells as well and let them dry, but you probably don't have too.
 

Starburst

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I am so glad I could help. :) You also want to make sure you are feeding a good-quality layer feed with minimal treats. Some people even suggest to not give treats like scratch and cracked corn until the eggshells are thicker. Of course, a well-balanced diet is key.
 

Starburst

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Lack of vitamins, particularly vitamin D, can also be an issue if they are thin. Evidently, hens that lack these vitamins have trouble processing calcium. I would probably start by just giving them oystershell/eggshell, but if you are still noticing problems after several weeks, you may want to put a product (I have heard that shell aid works well) in one of their waterers, providing fresh water as well. Not sure how thin the eggshells are, just adding a couple of other things you could do if the thin eggshells are concerning you.:)
 

sayccrn

Songster
Jun 14, 2020
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Atlanta, GA
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Lack of vitamins, particularly vitamin D, can also be an issue if they are thin. Evidently, hens that lack these vitamins have trouble processing calcium. I would probably start by just giving them oystershell/eggshell, but if you are still noticing problems after several weeks, you may want to put a product (I have heard that shell aid works well) in one of their waterers, providing fresh water as well. Not sure how thin the eggshells are, just adding a couple of other things you could do if the thin eggshells are concerning you.:)
I would like to tag onto this post, please. I have a small coop, I was going to get a little 2.5 quart pail. Can I put my grit and oyster shells in the same pail? Like 50/50 blend?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Jul 3, 2016
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I would like to tag onto this post, please. I have a small coop, I was going to get a little 2.5 quart pail. Can I put my grit and oyster shells in the same pail? Like 50/50 blend?

Better to have them separate so no accidental eating one thing when they want another (like if some of my hens want oyster shell, they really go to town on it).

Maybe you could put a divider in the pail?
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
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Poultry Grit (Granite) stays in the gizzard for days.
Oyster Shells dissolve readily.
Best to keep them separate.
20190422_091804-2_kindlephoto-5207539.jpg

GC
 

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