1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How Often to Feed Egg Shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MesMama, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,458
    4,644
    416
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Tell me about rural! My granddaughter told a friend of hers one time, when her friend asked how isolated we are out here, "Well, let me put it this way - when Gramma says we're going to Walmart I say, 'Oh, goodie! I'll pack the cooler!'" Two stoplights in our entire county - that's not two stoplights in our town, that's two in the county! No house to house mail delivery. We all go to the post office to pick up mail. No bank, no grocery store (except the Merc, which is a gas station with a few grocery items) no full time cop, and our business district is on block long and on only one side of the street. But I love it! Have to drive 100 miles up to Billings for any big ticket items, the nearest feed store is 50 miles one way, the nearest McDonalds is a 25 mile drive one way. I love this place!

    One thing I forgot to mention. When my flock is mixed, meaning I have chicks, pullets, layers, and roosters, I don't offer layer feed. Instead I feed either grower or flock maintenance so the young birds and the roos aren't getting the added calcium that's in the food. Some say it has a detrimental affect on them and I don't know that for sure but I just err on the side of caution. I know a very respected long time chicken keeper who says it's hooey, and she's never been wrong that I've ever seen. Everyone in her flock gets the same food fermented and a ton of free range time. But just in case.... So the oyster shell container is always full. When it's first filled, they all dive in like it's a long awaited treat, but after a nibble or two the roos and chicks ignore it, while the layers still eat it when they need it. And I don't worry about the chicks and roos eating the eggs with the shells. As I said, I just don't think there's that much calcium left in the egg shells, so I don't sweat it and I've never had an issue. You will very rarely see the hens hitting the oyster shell. They mostly just grab a little once in awhile and wander off. Seems like once I fill the container it lasts forever!
     
  2. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

    536
    83
    108
    Jun 13, 2014
    Georgia
    For molting, I've always been under the impression that animal protein was key. Also, I believe BOSS actually has less protein than regular food. Right now, my girls are molting so I've been feeding the Purina gamebird chow that has 30% protein and animal protein as an ingredient.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    What is BOSS?
     
  4. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    975
    44
    128
    Apr 22, 2015
    Iowa
    Oh wow! And lol about the Walmart/cooler thing!! I LOVE Montana BTW :D A friend of mine and I drove out there the year after high school, we had so much fun! We stayed in Billings for a week <3

    So is it even worth it to feed the egg shells? What do they get from them nutritionally do you think?
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,458
    4,644
    416
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Exactly! I've heard to feed them cat food, or tuna or some such. But I have the eggs, eggs are considered animal protein, so what the heck! I'm basically a very lazy person, so whatever I can do to kill two birds with one stone (figuratively speaking, of course) I'm all over it. I worry about too much protein being hard on kidneys and such, so I'm content. How's that working for you? Do you find that they feather back faster? Any other issues or benefits with the gamebird chow?

    BOSS is black oil sunflower seeds, Stephanie R.
     
  6. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Of course it is. Thanks, Blooie.
     
  7. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    975
    44
    128
    Apr 22, 2015
    Iowa
    Black Oil Sunflower Seed :D
     
  8. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    975
    44
    128
    Apr 22, 2015
    Iowa
    This made me giggle [​IMG]
     
  9. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot

    11,565
    901
    326
    Aug 20, 2015
    Rockingham NC
    I know this isn't my thread but thanks for the information. I thought my girls were weird because they don't mess.with the oystershells th a much. Good to know it's normal.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,458
    4,644
    416
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Actually I'm in northern Wyoming, MesMama. But close enough to Montana! I can see the Pryor Mountains from my kitchen window and they are in Montana - most of them anyway.

    [​IMG]
    The Big Horn Mountains from my east window in the kitchen.

    [​IMG]
    The Pryor Mountains looking north from the window above my sink.

    As far as whether or not feeding egg shells has any value, I think so. It might not be a huge amount of calcium, but it's a manageable supplement and I think that alone is worth the effort to give them. I just like the kick of the added protein at the same time. (and getting rid of older eggs without them going to waste is a bonus!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by