How much oyster shell per day for 3 Banty layers??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChelseysChicken, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. ChelseysChicken

    ChelseysChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    3 Tiny Banty hens feed my family of 3 :)
    How much oyster shell per day is enough but not too much/A waste ??
    Thanks for any feedback!!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Oyster shell should be free choice in a separate container. The hens won't eat more than they need and won't eat if they don't need it.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I can't imagine those hens needing more than a teaspoon or so a day, altogether.
     
  4. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always leave it out for them to decide how much they want and need.
     
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  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Any hen fed grit as well as oyster shell free choice probably won't consume more than a tablespoons full a oyster shell in a year. It is surprising watching a hen eat oyster shell because she digs and rakes in it with her beak and tosses more out than she eats, searching for that one perfect Goldilocks piece of shell. That is what it looks like anyway. I don't know if she goes back later an picks up what she spilled, but I doubt it. The same is true for grit.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I also offer oyster shell free choice. I really don’t worry about how much they eat. That’s going to depend on how much calcium they are getting from other sources.

    They get some calcium from the feed they eat. If all they eat is Layer they are probably getting enough calcium from that for their egg shells. If they eat something other than Layer, either treats or from foraging, then they might need another source. That source could be from you, either by offering oyster shell, feeding them back their egg shells, or some other source. If you live where limestone is your native rock, they will get a lot of calcium from the pebbles they pick up as grit. Many plants they eat, either foraging for themselves if you have that option or maybe greens you feed them have calcium. Again if they forage, a lot of the creepy crawlies they eat will provide some calcium, especially hard-shelled bugs.

    Just like practically everything else related to chickens, there is no magic number of how much oyster shell or additional calcium your chickens will need. We all have different circumstances and will need varying amounts, ranging from none to a fair amount. You can let your egg shells tell you how you are doing. If they are pretty solid you are doing OK with whatever you are doing. If they are thin, you need to offer more. But I don’t try to micromanage exactly how much of any nutrient I give them. I offer oyster shell on the side and let them do the work.
     
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  7. Ebal

    Ebal Out Of The Brooder

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    No such thing as too much... They wont eat too much. Just pick at it and take a piece every now and again. I put it in a small feeder (cut the bottom out of a plastic bottle) . The feeder is attached by nail to a post in my run. I fill it, .. holds about a cup. They eat on it as they want it. I top it off every 3 weeks or so and it is usually still half full. I would guess 1/3 or better ends up on the ground. No way you give or try to figure out daily rations.... It would be pieces! They eat what they want and when they want.... Not very much at all... AND I have 8 hens.



    -3 [​IMG]

    weeks, but my guess is that half or better goes on the ground.
     
  8. ChelseysChicken

    ChelseysChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL I understand now that this may have been a silly question! Thanks for your response!
     
  9. Ebal

    Ebal Out Of The Brooder

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    NO No NO !!! Nothing is silly. So many opinions and ideas on here. I've been at it only 8 months and learn a little along.

    The oyster shell does help though. Had a hen or 2 laying rubber eggs.., No shell.... Got a bag or O shell and made it available and it solved the problem

    Only came in 50 LB bags where I am for $6-$7... Will last me YEARS.
     

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