Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ClareScifi, Mar 3, 2012.
Yes, it does. Feed it as a treat and vary what you feed every day. Good point!
To the person who claims that it's not that my hens don't like oystershell, that it's just that their bodies don't need it, that doesn't make sense, because you said the same about them eating back their own eggshells-- that they won't do so unless they need the calcium..
Then how come, when I present them with both oystershell and eggshell, they will snarf the eggshell and turn up their noses at the oystershell? They never eat oystershell but they will always eat their eggshells when offered them. So apparently they must like the eggshells and not the oystershell.
And they both laid soft shelled eggs this morning, so they must need the calcium, which they are not eating enough of. They will be 23 weeks old on Tuesday.
I don't buy the bit that chickens will always eat just what they need. I've read too much research about how chickens are bred to eat and eat and become fat for intended slaughter, even when they are pet chickens you wish to keep alive as long as possible.. I believe you have to carefully monitor their diets or they will often succumb to Fatty Hemorrhagic Liver Disease.
I don't feed my chickens much spinach or kale. They love it, but I'm afraid of the oxalates in it. It's been implicated in some serious chicken health problems. I've switched them to a Spring Greens Mix, which they have learned to love almost as much as spinach and kale. :>) Why take any chances?
I think the key for my chickens is moderation. They get fresh every day some form of greens (usually spinich) another fresh veggie, fruits (fresh) and their layer feed. I went with a brand where their calcium is in the form of oyster shells mixed in. They'd scarf down whatever looked the most appealing, including the shells. Never noticed the roosters eatting any of the shells, including when I used to just serve it separately. I make my own yogurt (in a crock pot) and mix it with grains which they love, or for a treat, whole wheat pasta tossed in (make my own). I NEVER give them foods that have been cooked in fats/oils, have salt, or sugar products. They free range from sunrise to sunset. I also use a mix of alphafa hay and rice hulls for their coop and nesting boxes which supply extra nutrients. In their water, I always put vinager. All are healthy, and when rehoming the first roosters to my friend, got her hooked on the same diet for her birds. Works fine. Hens lay right on schedule, beautiful delicious eggs. From what I've learned from my friend, the roosters are introduced and accepted and doing their thing quite well.
I'm thinking that your birds might go for the egg shells with gusto because they are fresh. Can't blame them! Just make sure you grind them up well so they won't start going after their own eggs.
Why all the worries? With you worry so much about them you are going to cause yourself to have a bleeding ulcer. Stop worry so much. Let the the chickens be chickens. You may see a few soft shell eggs. Your girls are young. If you continue to get them find the girl who is laying them and cull her. I had a hen that laid soft eggs always found out who it was and culled. If you free range they know what they need and will eat it.
I would never cull a chicken. Once a chicken is hatched, it is my responsibility to care for it for its lifetime. I don't eat eggs nor chicken. I just love them as pets. Hence, I worry about taking good care of them. You say: Let chickens be chickens. Well, then, Let Me Be Me! LOL.
It sounds like your chickens have an excellent diet. Homemade yogurt sounds great. I give my chickens yogurt once a week, and they love it! I put vinegar in their water, too. I have never seen my rooster eating their oystershells on the side. I could just let my chickens eat their eggs, since I don't eat eggs, but I am collecting them right now for preschoolers to dye for Easter. I think that will be a lot of fun for them.
My roo is in the pen with them today. I put his chick grower in there in one spot and the girls' laying mash in another. I have seen him eat from both today. I couldn't think of a way to keep them separate. I suppose I could have kept them penned separately while I was at church, but I was afraid he'd go crazy without access to his hens.
My oldest rooster is turning 9. For the first 7 years of his life he ate layer. Now they all get starter and free choice oyster shell. Just easier that way since I always seem to have chicks. Don't worry.
souland, I agree completely. I was just pointing out that offering kale and similar greens isn't going to lower calcium levels in the diet since they are high in calcium themselves.
I've never heard of a rooster having problems with layers rations. There would be signs of excess calcium being excreted through the kidneys before there was irreversible deadly damage.
they love the taste of egg left on the shell? I've had them eat it and I've had them ignore it.
Even with plenty of calcium in the diet, it's pretty common to get soft-shells from young layers. I think it's because their bodies haven't quite worked out the process. The problem quickly resolves itself without any change in diet. If they have plenty of the appropiate feed available, they will take in what they need.
I've never had a chicken over-eat either. Except for cornishX. Those birds will just eat themselves too death.