Hens won't eat oyster shell

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CCCookie, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. CCCookie

    CCCookie Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2009
    Mjavascript:insert_text('[​IMG]',%20'');y hens (7) and one rooster refuse to eat oyster shell. What can I substitute, any ideas most welcome. Thanks, Kathy

    PS: How do you guys get that cute little chicken on your posts? A real newbie here!
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Your rooster has NO NEED to eat oyster shell. He won't be "making" a single eggshell . . . not one.

    Keep in mind that layer feed should have enough of what a layer needs to produce eggs with good shells.

    Some soils are naturally high in calcium. That's the primary ingredient for making an eggshell. The hens get enough calcium by eating things off the ground, eating grit, and eating dirt.

    Unless the shells are soft - you probably don't need to worry about it. The hens should be good at self-regulating calcium as long as they have some available.

    Smilies? Click "More Smilies" then the one of your choice [​IMG]. That cute little chicken?

    Edited to say: Oh, I see that you are in Seattle! Your soil doesn't have very much calcium in it, I suspect.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  3. CCCookie

    CCCookie Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2009
    Thank you Steve!
  4. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    I offer it to mine in a hanging feeder. They eat so little of it I don't even keep up with how much, however they do eat it at times.

  5. Russo's Roost

    Russo's Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Morrisville VT
    I had a simmilar situation, my Rooster was the first one to go to it, I laughed. He hasn't been back at it that I know of. I was told if you give them oyster shell you should also give them Apple Cider Vinegar at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon, the acidity helps with the assimilation of the oyster shell calcium carbonate. I give them fresh water in a 1 gallon waterer and the vinegar mixture in the chick waterer I used when I brought them home. Seems to be working out well so far.
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Hens only eat or peck at oyster shell if they need it. I keep a dish out all the time and only have to re-plenish it every month or so.
  7. MkBorgen

    MkBorgen Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2009
    When I notice that they are laying soft or uneven eggs I add a little oyster shell to the feed don't need much just sprinkle and mix in. Otherwise eggs are a great substitute just cook some up I like to scramble them so they don't eat their own eggs in the laying boxes if they break one! Yogurt is another great one I just buy a large tub of the plain cheap stuff and they think its the best thing ever. For more ideas there is a list of foods on here somewhere but chickens love pretty much everything but feed them in moderation if they are not full of protein or you will then have problems with soft shelled eggs! Good luck [​IMG]
  8. chickenmommy16

    chickenmommy16 New Egg

    May 8, 2015
    Mine won't eat oyster shells and i tried em disgusting but mmy hens are occasionally laying deformed eggs, the egg yolk was smooshed on the out side icky can anyone help me
  9. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    If they don't eat it, they probably don't need it. I wouldn't worry, they seem in instinctively know if they need it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by