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How much calcium?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by suzannaski, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. suzannaski

    suzannaski Songster

    May 31, 2009
    I have a friend who says I should feed oyster shells to my hens, but Poulin says that their Layer pellets have enough calcium that a supplement isn't necessary (it contains between 3.75 % and 4.5% calcium).
    I boiled leftover eggshells and crushed them, and the hens ignored them, so I'm reluctant to buy a bag of oyster shells if the same thing is going to happen. (I'm out of work right now)
    Is there a chart of nutrient requirements somewhere that I can't find through google (I've tried)?
    Thanks in advance for the help!
    Oh if you need to know, I have two 1-yr old Americaunas: Fifi LaBrunch and Babs, and their shells are nice.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010

  2. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    I've not seen a bag of Poulin, but if it says you don't need to supply extra calcium, and your birds' shells are good, then you should be fine.

    You might continue supplying crushed egg shells, just to be sure.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    That's about the same amount of calcium that's in the layer feed I use. I offer oyster shell free choice. Without the oyster shell, the eggshells I've gotten are okay, but not great. With the OS the shells are strong enough I can drop an egg and not have it break (and I have, several times [​IMG] ).
    I also don't want any of my hens to have to sacrifice their own body's calcium needs for the sake of an eggshell. I figure the OS is cheap insurance against that.
    I buy OS at our farmer's co-op for 20 cents a pound. Got a 50 lb. bag of it several months ago and haven't used it all up.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Go by your egg shells. If they are hard, the hens are getting enough calcium. They may be getting enough from the layer or they may be getting extra from the local rocks they are using for grit if they have access to the outside. If it is working, it does not have to be fixed.
  5. MimiChick

    MimiChick Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    Glocester, RI
    I'm out of work too, so I can understand about pinching pennies. Your layer feed should have enough calcium in it for your girls without adding extra. And if the shells are good and hard you're probably okay. But, just as added insurance, you could continue to grind up their eggshells and give them to your girls in case they need/want a little extra calcium. If you put them in a separate container (I use plastic cage cups, but an empty tuna can nailed to a wall does great too) they can eat what they want/need free choice, then you don't have to worry if they are getting enough. Good luck. [​IMG]
  6. suzannaski

    suzannaski Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Thanks for all the advice! Their shells are hard right now, but I will watch for any thinning as a sign of low calcium.
    They just don't seem interested in some of the treats that others here post, such as yogurt, watermelon, etc. They do love dry cat food, though! I have to keep it out of reach.
    Maybe their interest in yogurt will increase when they need the calcium. In the meantime, I will keep a small stash of shells on the side, just in case.
    Thanks again!

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