Hens won't eat oyster shell, How to feed it?

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,605
4,287
326
Small town in Washington
If you just want a protein supplement, try turkey or gamebird starter. It seems to range between 24% protein and 30% protein, depending on the brand. (How to serve it without wastage? Just add water, and they'll eat every crumb instead of throwing them around.)
We do have a scratch and peck starter fee that is 20% protein. Our local feed store doesn't have the game bird starter, but I can look to see if they have something with higher protein.
TO serve we use this! We LOVE it! A bit pricey, but totally water and weather proof, and rodent proof. The ladies like it, and it hold a lot more feed then a normal feeder. I would suggest it to anyone really, it is fantastic!
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https://www.grandpasfeeders.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInfPe96OD7AIVBj6tBh2ptwyrEAAYASAAEgLBkfD_BwE
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
3,666
5,823
366
USA
We do have a scratch and peck starter fee that is 20% protein. Our local feed store doesn't have the game bird starter, but I can look to see if they have something with higher protein.
That's probably fine. From what you said about the scratch/treats, I thought you were looking for extra protein as well.
 

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,605
4,287
326
Small town in Washington
That's probably fine. From what you said about the scratch/treats, I thought you were looking for extra protein as well.
Yes, we do want some thing with higher protein, it may not be perfect, to rely on to keep the protein up, but It does look yummy and natural! Thanks for the clarification that it wasn't everything the bag said it was! But dang, it is so easy to totally believe every word the bag says! Thanks again, Avery
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
3,666
5,823
366
USA
Yes, we do want some thing with higher protein, it may not be perfect, to rely on to keep the protein up, but It does look yummy and natural! Thanks for the clarification that it wasn't everything the bag said it was! But dang, it is so easy to totally believe every word the bag says!
Notice that some of the "healthy things" they include are just dried vegetables. Fresh vegetables would be even healthier!
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
So the other thing, I keep seeing you guy mentioning scratch? I have never fed it or heard of it, is it something I should be feeding, or an additional treat? I hope this isn't a dumb question! Thanks for all the great info and ideas! I am very appreciative of this!
It is a treat but also be aware that depending on what part of the country you live in and who you are dealing with vendor wise they could call Scratch also as feed as in meaning what type of layer feed you are wanting also so be sure your bag actually says Scratch grain. Some older folks call all of it Scratch. It just depends who you are talking to. They refer to Scratch as what you are feeding them as feed all together whether it’s your primary ration or corn or peas or scratch treat or else. You get me? I have run into that and almost pulled my hair out. I had one lady sell me O. S. For chick grit and swore up and down to me they were all the same thing and that my baby chicks would do fine with it. It was huge and my girls were only 6 weeks old. Go figure. I just bought it for $2 and saved it for later. I still haven’t given it to them and might not. They aren’t laying yet. So I hope this helps.
 

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,605
4,287
326
Small town in Washington
It is a treat but also be aware that depending on what part of the country you live in and who you are dealing with vendor wise they could call Scratch also as feed as in meaning what type of layer feed you are wanting also so be sure your bag actually says Scratch grain. Some older folks call all of it Scratch. It just depends who you are talking to. They refer to Scratch as what you are feeding them as feed all together whether it’s your primary ration or corn or peas or scratch treat or else. You get me? I have run into that and almost pulled my hair out. I had one lady sell me O. S. For chick grit and swore up and down to me they were all the same thing and that my baby chicks would do fine with it. It was huge and my girls were only 6 weeks old. Go figure. I just bought it for $2 and saved it for later. I still haven’t given it to them and might not. They aren’t laying yet. So I hope this helps.
Makes senses! I will get pearled OS and try and attarcthem to it with a nice new container, and some grubs, or feed. Thanks guys! Feel free to keep giving me additional info, I will use ti and keep you posted! Thanks again, Avery
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
We do have a scratch and peck starter fee that is 20% protein. Our local feed store doesn't have the game bird starter, but I can look to see if they have something with higher protein.
TO serve we use this! We LOVE it! A bit pricey, but totally water and weather proof, and rodent proof. The ladies like it, and it hold a lot more feed then a normal feeder. I would suggest it to anyone really, it is fantastic!
View attachment 2347239
https://www.grandpasfeeders.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInfPe96OD7AIVBj6tBh2ptwyrEAAYASAAEgLBkfD_BwE
I have one of these waiting in the wings for my pullets when they get a little heavier and less fearful. I have had so much trouble with dang fire ants that I have held back on letting them even experiment with the practice or learning step yet for fear of the stupid ants hoping that waiting out the heat to break might help also. I will have to see. Then it’s installing the automatic coop door. All this just to go on vacation for a few days. I have a secure run and coop but it’s dang ants that are my issue except for a huge family of falcons that could dive bomb my run possibly all at one time. If six of them hit the hardware cloth from the side at 240mph it could possibly give. What do y’all think? Lol!? The metal roof will stop them on top. It’s the sides that worry me if they decide to double or triple team or quadruple team or more..:..
 

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,605
4,287
326
Small town in Washington
I have one of these waiting in the wings for my pullets when they get a little heavier and less fearful. I have had so much trouble with dang fire ants that I have held back on letting them even experiment with the practice or learning step yet for fear of the stupid ants hoping that waiting out the heat to break might help also. I will have to see. Then it’s installing the automatic coop door. All this just to go on vacation for a few days. I have a secure run and coop but it’s dang ants that are my issue except for a huge family of falcons that could dive bomb my run possibly all at one time. If six of them hit the hardware cloth from the side at 240mph it could possibly give. What do y’all think? Lol!? The metal roof will stop them on top. It’s the sides that worry me if they decide to double or triple team or quadruple team or more..:..
Get a Grandpas feeder! THE ants will aha eno chance getting in there, and you can totally leave it uncovered while you go on Vacation, and it won't get wet! I love these and they are much more reliable then the nomad feeder, no spillage, no wet worrisome, on rodents or ants! There great! I know I sound like a Granpas feeder dealer trying to get you to my the product! Lol! It totally worth it!
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,066
2,667
246
NW, OH
I use this divided supplement feeder in all my coops. I fill them only halfway to prevent billing out. I put grit (crushed granite) on one side and crushed oyster shell in the other. It is attached at a comfortable height for adult hens. One thing I do before filling them for the first time is I drill lots of 1/8" holes in the bottom for drainage since I attach these outside of the coops. They work really well for me and are very durable, even in winter. They are available in the horse equipment aisle at TSC. Here's a link for you: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/fortiflex-mf-2-mineral-feeder-2x175-qt-capacity-black

You can't force them to eat it, but they will eat what they need. Give them time. I've never had a problem with them not eating it like you are, so I'm not sure I can offer advice there. The only thing I can think is try moving it to a different location.
 

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