Grit and Oyster shells

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
10,535
24,504
916
Hawaii
I place mine in a raised dog feeder/waterer, to keep it slightly off the ground. It came with two stainless steel bowls. I put oyster shell in the one, grit in the other. Others I have seen use a partially buried cinder block and use the two holes. I think it does not really matter, as long as they have access to both.:)
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
5,683
11,696
671
Connecticut, USA
I know chickens need Grit and Oyster shells to digest their food. But do I need a feeder for that or just toss it around every once and a while?
I use 40 ounce pails with 3/32 holes drilled in bottom to drain moisture for both. GC
20200827_090053.jpg
 

svh

Crowing
Dec 24, 2019
536
2,601
276
Mid Missouri
Just to be clear, oyster shell is calcium used by the bird for egg shell production, while grit is small rocks, or stones, and is used by the birds for digestion.

That said, I don't supply grit, as my soil has plenty of small stones, but I keep oyster shell in a stainless steel dog bowl, screwed to a piece of 2x12, to keep it from tipping.
 

springvalley123

Crowing
6 Years
May 22, 2015
1,173
4,086
497
North of Phoenix
Just to be clear, oyster shell is calcium used by the bird for egg shell production, while grit is small rocks, or stones, and is used by the birds for digestion.

That said, I don't supply grit, as my soil has plenty of small stones, but I keep oyster shell in a stainless steel dog bowl, screwed to a piece of 2x12, to keep it from tipping.
I live in Arizona, the granite state! I have a two-compartment feeder on the ground with food in one half and oyster shells in the other. Even when confined to the pen, my birds have plenty of dirt, and various grades of granite/stones. I've never had any crop issues with my birds.
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
99
113
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
at what age do you start supplementing the calcium? my bag of oyster shells say 20 weeks but my friend says to start now @ 14 weeks. her father in law has raised chickens for many years... she has already started supplementing her girls. I have Sapphire Gems - supposedly start laying @ 15-18 weeks. But they are molting and it's not even 20 degrees outside... so I wasn't expecting anything until spring. Do I need to supplement them now?
 

KingB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jun 19, 2020
6,699
34,130
851
United Kingdom
Mine have never touched grit. They literally won't eat it. Any suggestions for how to make them have it?
 

springvalley123

Crowing
6 Years
May 22, 2015
1,173
4,086
497
North of Phoenix
at what age do you start supplementing the calcium? my bag of oyster shells say 20 weeks but my friend says to start now @ 14 weeks. her father in law has raised chickens for many years... she has already started supplementing her girls. I have Sapphire Gems - supposedly start laying @ 15-18 weeks. But they are molting and it's not even 20 degrees outside... so I wasn't expecting anything until spring. Do I need to supplement them now?
I had some sapphire gems, lovely birds! started laying at 18 weeks, which is the earliest range the hatchery and the seller of the parent stock says. Mine feathered and started to molt into adult plumage as early as 5 1/2 weeks, so I'm surprised yours are still molting into adult feathers at 14 weeks. I don't think there's any harm in offering the oyster shells as they're a free choice thing, you offer them in a separate bowl for the birds to eat when/if they choose.
 

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