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How much oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mountain Sunshine, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Mountain Sunshine

    Mountain Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Cleveland, Georgia
    I just switched over to laying feed and the oyster shell. How much oyster shell should I be giving them and should I add it to their food also?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Layer contains calcium. If all they eat is layer, then they are probably getting enough calcium and do not need oyster shell. If they free range or have access to outside and you live in limestone country, the rock and sand they use for grit probably contains quite a bit of calcium, in which case they probably do not need oyster shell. Are your egg shells hard? If they are, you do not need oyster shell.

    I consider calcium like practicaly everything else. If you or they get too much of it, it can possibly cause more harm than good. I don't know that for a fact but I don't see any benefit in forcing them to eat calcium or anything else in excess. You can let the hardness of their egg shells tell you if they need extra calcium or you can offer it on the side. I don't see any harm in offering it on the side and it is relatively inexpensive. I would not mix it with their feed to try to force them to eat it since I don't know how much more, if any, they need or whether I am giving them bone spurs or arthritis by forcing them to eat extra calcium.

    Just my opinion. No specific science to back it up. I know I'm coming on strong but trying to get my point across. Good luck however you decide.
     
  3. Mountain Sunshine

    Mountain Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Cleveland, Georgia
    I don't free range (too many dogs around here) and we have coyotes in our area.

    One of hens that we got not too long ago laid an egg the other night and it was paper thin.(the 2 new ones are a year old) My flock hasn't started laying yet(they are 18 weeks).
     
  4. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    I didn't used to offer it free choice because the feed store said the layer feed had it in it already. Then, I had issues with my birds not liking the feed. They free ranged, and weren't getting the calcium they needed. Thin eggs and no eggs were the result. If you are having some thin shelled eggs, somebody needs more calcium. Offer it free choice. If they don't need it, they won't eat it. And, it might take some time for them to see it as edible. Be patient. Just leave it in a separate container.
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine are 19 months so have been laying a long time- I always leave a small dispenser of ground oyster shell near the pop door in case they want some, and if I give a pumpkin or squash, I sprinkle some in the cavity...
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  6. kyrose

    kyrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    Melbourne,Ky.
    i put some on the side,so its pro-choice.
     
  7. Mountain Sunshine

    Mountain Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Cleveland, Georgia
    thanks for all the replies!
     
  8. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    I keep oyster shell in a small container in their coop at all times. Some of my layers eat it all the time and others rarely touch it. They know what they need and will self regulate their intake. My egg shells are all wonderful and hard.

    I do have 1 barred rock who keeps trying to bathe in the oyster shell [​IMG]
     
  9. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I offer it in a separate container, just like grit. It as available to them 24 x 7. I don't NOT mix it with any feed or treats. I saw one of them eating some today when I was cleaning the coop.
     
  10. Mountain Sunshine

    Mountain Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Cleveland, Georgia
    I will keep it out for them then. I am so new to all this and I appreciate all of your replies. I am learning so much here!

    Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
     

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