Homemade oyster shell?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jobeibi, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. jobeibi

    jobeibi Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2010
    Florida Panhandle
    My friend owns an oyster bar. Is there any reason I shouldn't get free shells from him and smash 'em up for the chickens myself? What's special about commercially prepared oyster shell?
  2. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Commercial is washed, dried, probably bleached and crushed.

    I had various sea shells out in the flower bed for years, then got chickens again. They ate those shells down to stubbs before I could get to the store and buy a bag of crushed oyster shells. Then they nibbled on both.

    Only problem I can think of is the salt from the seawater. Wash and scrub them good to dilute that, then I would just toss them out. I'd try it. Mine sure would eat them. But I would still give them free choice of the commercial oyster shell. They'll eat from both, I bet and think they are in chicken heaven.

    Chickens do need a little salt in their diet but not much. You probably should check to see what symptoms of too much salt in their diet would be and watch for that.

    People toss their chickens, shrimp shells and such all the time. Mine don't like shrimp shells but they go for Crawdad shells. Must be the spice.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Other than being pretty hard to crush, there's nothing wrong with free shells
  4. kannna

    kannna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard
    [​IMG] I smash quahog (it's a hard shell clam) shells up with a hammer on the patio to a small grain and dust point. I do rinse them before hand. They do eat it and their egg shells are quite hard at this point. At least two whacks to crack.
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:And baked to sterilize and make it more digestible--at least the stuff I bought today is. It isn't the size that's important but how ready it is for the birds to absorb the calcium. Otherwise you're just giving them grit, not that they can't eat it, just that it isn't doing them much good. A lot of work to save a few pennies.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It's been posted in the past that people rinse, put in a burlap bag and run it over with their cars.
    Never tried it myself.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by