Grit/Oyster Shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MnChicken6, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. MnChicken6

    MnChicken6 Out Of The Brooder

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    What is everyone's thoughts on mixing grit and oyster shells? We have a 4ft x 4ft coop and currently have a large feeder for layer feed and two smaller feeders for oyster shells and grit. So crammed with all three feeders and waterer. Trying to free up some space.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it would be fine to mix the two substances together. The hens should be able to pick out what they need from the mixture.
     
  3. fawkestheman

    fawkestheman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I usually mix my grit and oyster shells in with the grain and my flock seems to enjoy it the most that way.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I don't mix mine in the food, although that seems like a very sensible idea. I just recycled a couple of small containers, similar to margarine containers, drilled a couple of holes in the bottoms so water would drain out, and clipped them to the side of the run. They don't take up my precious floor space that way and they hold plenty to get the job done for my 10 chickens. Even worked when I had 22.
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just throw the OS on the ground and let them scratch and peck at it.
     
  6. JLR405

    JLR405 New Egg

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    I've done both mixed with the food as well as set it apart. Both worked for my flock. If you're tight on space I would just mix it with their food. I have two Austrolop hens I have isolated due to bad feather loss that is what I'm doing and they are managing great.
     
  7. lilfitz2006

    lilfitz2006 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2014
    This may be a little off topic, but I have egg shells that I want to feed to my chickens. Does it matter if they were from hard boiled eggs? Seems like they would be easier and safer than dealing with raw ones...
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I use the shells from hard boiled eggs for my girls all the time. In fact, anytime I have loads of eggs in the fridge waiting either delivery to others or home use, with more coming in daily, I'll grab some of the "older" ones and hard boil them, then cut 'em up shells and all and feed them. As far as the shells from raw eggs, the only advice I ever heard was to let them dry out completely first before you crush them up. The chickens appreciate the extra calcium and protein from the ones I hard boil for them, and none of my eggs need to go to waste. Lots of folks just chuck a broken egg into the run or coop and let the chickens have it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  9. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    We save the shells from the eggs we eat and once a week or so I hand crush them and sprinkle them on the chickens feed. They especially like breakfast on those days. The secret seems to be to not crush them too fine. If you run them through a blender to grind them they end up almost like powder and pass through the chickens system too fast to be of much use. Remember that what goes in the chicken comes back out in about 20 minutes so you want the calcium source to be large enough for the chicken to have to grind it up a bit in their crop so that some of it gets absorbed.

    We also, when we have extras, either boil or scramble them and feed them to the hens as extra protein.
     
  10. lilfitz2006

    lilfitz2006 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! :) that's good to know because my girlfriend works at a restaurant so she can get loads of shells for free :)
     

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