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Ground crab shells & guts

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by redpuppy21, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. redpuppy21

    redpuppy21 Hatching

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    I live on the Chesapeake bay and have discovered chicken crack! I grind up the left over shells, guts, legs and such of blue crabs and let my girls have at it (not the lungs though). My problem is that I cannot find any nutritional info on ground crab shell and guts. I have found plenty on kiln dried crab shells and commercial crab meal, but I don't think that it is the same, since my leftovers are not dehydrated. I am worried about giving my girls (2, 18mo red rocks) too much selenium.
    I mix their grain myself. The recipe changes with the season, based on what is readily available. I feed my girls organic and local, so adjusting the recipe helps keep the costs down. Tthat being said, I honestly don't know how much selenium they get in their normal diet. Does anyone else feed their girls blue crab or have any advice on how much I should allow them daily?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    I'm curious: how do you grind it up? How much do you give them? any change in the eggs? We have the occasional lobster feed, and I've thought that the left overs would give the girls something to fight over, but not sure how to prepare it, or how much to give.
     
  3. shelbydog

    shelbydog Songster

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    Bristow, ok
    I just wanted to say that I want to come over to your house for a few (hundred) crab dinners to help create the leftovers for your chickens.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    x2[​IMG]
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

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    I don’t know enough about that to give you any useful information on nutrient content. I know the softer shell is mostly chitin which is a protein that does not digest real well and the harder shell is mostly calcium which they need for egg shells. The guts part is nutrient rich but I don’t have clue how rich other than very. I’d probably feed what they can clean up at one go, maybe in 10 minutes, and that would be it for the day. But it sounds like you're much more into micromanaging their diet than I am.

    To get that kind of information I’d probably try calling your county extension agent, in the phone book under county government. That agent probably won’t have a clue but should be able to put you in touch with someone who might be able to help, like a professor at your state land grant university. Whether your particular extension agent is good enough to do that or not I can’t say, but it would be my first call.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  6. redpuppy21

    redpuppy21 Hatching

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    Crabs a plenty, gang. Come on over! @ Ridgerunner, thanks for the info. I have been topping off their daily rations with about 2 tbs for each hen. They seem to be doing well with. The mistake that I made, is I stopped giving them oyster shells. I figured they were getting enough calcium from the shells alone. I noticed a thinner eggshell and the color became much lighter too. I don't know if that is a result of the weird weather we've been having lately or because of crab shells. My speculation is that the calcium in crab shell is a different form than oyster shell or the chitin maybe hinders uptake.
     

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