How do you dispense oyster shell - hen's first egg is double/softshell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cruelshoes, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. cruelshoes

    cruelshoes Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Washington State
    One of our hens just laid her first egg. (https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=130133) It is a double/softshell. Our hens obviously need more calcium.

    I know everyone says to offer oyster shell free choice, but I do not know what type of feeder to use. We have a feeder for the layer pellets, (a white cylinder with an open top over a red tray) but it seems like maybe we should use a different kind for the oyster shell. I know we should not mix it in with the food, but how do we get them to want to eat it? Will they just see it and think it looks delicious? How long after starting the oyster shells do the egg shells start to harden up?

    Sorry to sound like such a dork, but Barg is wigging out over this first egg, and I want to keep it from happening again.
     
  2. FluffyChickenMama

    FluffyChickenMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2007
    Tennessee
    Someone may tell ya something different.. but I cut a big ole hole out of a milk jug, some have a two liter bottle with a hole, and attached it to the coop.. ( we are fancy.. lol) they get it when they want it.. and then I refill it.. before I put the jug in I just threw a handful or two in the feed.. they picked it out when they wanted it.. Are you really not suppose to mix it in the feed?? I never heard that..
     
  3. siz8003

    siz8003 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2007
    Fitz.,NH
    I just throw mine on the ground everyday and they eat it dont know if that is ok but thats what I have! [​IMG]
     
  4. jessied1227

    jessied1227 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2007
    East Brady, PA
    I fill a feeder full of it, and refill it as it empties. [​IMG]

    I go through 10 lbs every two weeks or so with my 12 girlls who are old enough to lay.

    I never heard of not mixing it with the food, but I've just never done it.

    Good luck-
    Jess
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    One of those galvanized rabbit feeders that hangs on the wall is perfect. I covered the sifter holes by hot glueing some shelf liner to it to keep things from sifting out at the bottom. They use it just fine. It may not be a calcium issue at all, just a new pullet working out the kinks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  6. cruelshoes

    cruelshoes Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:OK - I have one of those rabbit feeders. I wasn't sure if I could use it since the holes are too big. I will try the shelf paper/hot glue idea.

    Am I wrong that the oyster shell shouldn't be mixed with the food? I thought I read that too much mixed in the food can cause kidney problems. I am so confused now. I have my college edumacation, but this chicken thing is stretching my brain a lot.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You don't need to mix it with the feed, especially if you have roosters. Mine go over and eat from the rabbit feeder all the time, but Hawkeye doesn't touch it.
     
  8. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    With our gold sex links, it was mixed in with the feed.

    Now I just have an old butter container for them filled with the stuff by their feed, and the Ameracaunas have half a jug of something, with gravel in the bottom so it doesn't tip. [​IMG]
     
  9. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I have two wide bottomed pottery bowls, like a large cereal bowl on the feeder platform. One has oyster shell and one has the baked-crushed eggshell. The eggshells always go first, but mine politely eat from bowls.
     
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I have a couple of the galvanized rabbit type hoppers without the sifters. I think they're actually small pig feeders. We put oyster shell in one and grit in the other. We chose those, because they were easy to hang on the wall and it was one less thing under foot in the coop. Any kind of feeder or bowl would work fine.
     

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