How much grit and oyster shell to purchase?

DianeS

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
276
7
123
Oregon
I know to offer it free-choice, but I have no idea how quickly it will be consumed, and therefore no idea if I should purchase 8 ounces of each or 10 lbs of each! I don't want to go to the store every week, but I don't want to store two years' worth, either.

So how much of each will a chicken likely eat in, say, a month? (I know every chicken is different, I'm just looking for a rounded estimate.) I have four chickens, they have a dirt run, eat regular layer pellets plus well-balanced treats.

Thanks in advance!
 

sunflowerenvy

Songster
9 Years
Apr 4, 2010
962
3
131
south/west tn
i bought 50 lb bag of oyster shell for 13 chicken i only put 2 can [14 oz] worth out that was 3 days ago i have not fill it back up yet.
you buy a small bag up and then figure out how long it takes for them to eat it up.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
Small bags! One fellow on here wrote that he'd been working on the same 50 lb. bag of grit for, I forget, like 25 years.
 

bburn

Songster
9 Years
Jul 9, 2010
1,668
23
143
Delaware, Arkansas
It depends on the number of chickens....but I add eggs shells to mine. I have it in a feeder and fill it when it is getting low. My girls have only been laying for two weeks and I have had it out forever. It is just now starting to go down.
 

Cargo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 28, 2010
583
18
121
Farmington, NM
If you just have a few chickens I would recommend buying it by the lb. if you can.
I have 4 Buff Orpingtons and the 5 lb bag of oyster I bought will likely last me a year.
Also, if they have access to the ground they probably do not need grit. Though it will not hurt to offer it.
 

gavinandallison

Songster
9 Years
Jul 25, 2010
1,942
6
181
Matthews, NC.
I purchased a 50lb sack of Grain-I-Grit (starter) from my local feed store, was only about $15 if I remember right! I just add some each day to their food and it is eaten with no problems, look at buying a bag of this is you can....

I will buy oyster shell this way once my girls start laying......
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
It's usually recommended on here that both be offered separately. You can make a handy container out of the bottom of a drink bottle screwed to the wall. Some hens apparently need more oyster shell than others,
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,846
21,979
907
Southeast Louisiana
If most of what they eat is Layer, it should have all the calcium in it that they need. If you feed a lot of treats that don't have any calcium in them, then they might possibly need some additional calcium. If your egg shells are hard, you don't need to offer any oyster shell, but it won't really hurt anything. I'd just buy the smallest bag I can find. It will probably last a very long time.

If they have access to dirt, they are probably getting all the grit they need. Unfortunately, I don't have any easy test for that like the hard egg shells to test for calcium. How much grit they need depends on what the native rock is in the soil, how hard it is, and how much gravel is actually in the soil. I usually just get some gravel the size of a pea or smaller from my driveway if I feel the need for gritl. I've also been known to get a bag of pea gravel and spread it in the run at the gate to keep it from being so muddy and give them some grit. They really enjoy scratching for the gravel. It does not hurt to offer grit, with them having access to the ground they probably don't need it, and there are a lot of different ways to supplement it if you wish. But with them having access to the ground, they probably won't take a lot. Again, I'd start small and see what they take.

Good luck!
 

woodmort

RIP 1938-2020
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
3,524
978
301
Quote:
That was me and yes--a little goes a very long way especially once they start free ranging. Oyster shell goes a bit fast especially if you're not feeding layer to laying hens.
 

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