How to "offer" oyster shell

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lisa-Lu, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Lisa-Lu

    Lisa-Lu Chirping

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    I have a couple hens that are soft shell laying every other day just about. I have oyster shell in a container in their yard for them to eat as they want, but they dont seem to ever be eating it. I also give them egg shells and they love those. I threw some oyster shell in the yard with mealworms yesterday evening and they seemed to eat a pebble or two. Do they just know to eat it? What can I do to attract them to it more?
     
    penny1960 and DobieLover like this.
  2. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    I just put oyster shell in a container and set it next to their feed. They will eat it as needed.
     
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    I offer my OS in a hanging 7# feeder right smack dab next to their feed trough.
    If they like the egg shell, keep those, bake them and crush them up and add them to the OS.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Are they on layer feed or non layer feed?
    Contrary to popular belief, shell issues are not just about calcium....there can be many causes. How old are the birds? Any recent illness? Have you had these birds their whole lives or did they come to you as started or grown birds? What feed and treats are you giving?
     
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  5. Lisa-Lu

    Lisa-Lu Chirping

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    They are on layer crumble. They are about 6 months old now. No illnesses that I know of. We just got them a little over a month ago, from a farmer that raises fowl of all sorts. He said two of them weren't laying yet, but he expected them to start anytime because of their combs.
    They are getting Dumor layer crumble twice a day, meal worm treats at least once a day, bread crumbs once a day, oyster shell is always in their yard beside the feed trough, and egg shells 2-3 times a week.
    What else would it be? They both look very healthy from all the things I've read to look for.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  6. FluffTheDuck

    FluffTheDuck Duck love is recognizable in any language

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    Me too.
     
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  7. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

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    bread crumbs too often once every other week or once a week is plenty
     
  8. Firefoot

    Firefoot Songster

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    Cut out the mealworms and bread treats and get them a feed with higher protein. Your feed is the lowest % protein for layers and it is being hugely diluted with treats. Treats should only be 10% or less of their diet -- even higher protein ones like mealworms. Try to find an all-flock feed or a higher protein pellet with 18-20% protein. Doesn't have to be a layer feed as the calcium is being supplemented through the oyster/egg shells. You can do the treats once or twice a week, but find something other than bread crumbs as that's not really nutritious.

    Mine don't seem to care for the oyster shell as much as egg shells, but I offer both. I have a small rubber feed tub (small, like 8" diameter) with oyster and egg shells mixed together placed near their feeder. They eat what they want.

    Also, are they stressed? Stress can compromise their laying. But it's likely they are just new layers and if you can address their nutritional needs, they will be just fine.
     
    Bamabexchicks likes this.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    New layers, then, and are still just working out the kinks in production. Theye are a lot of "moving parts" involved in building an egg, the shell gland just isnt quite getting the job done consistently yet
     
    aart and m1chelle1 like this.
  10. Lisa-Lu

    Lisa-Lu Chirping

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    I was planning to change their feed with the next bag we get. I grabbed this bag from TS before I had any idea what I was doing. Can you recommend a brand, as I do not see any brand that has over 16% protein on line.
     

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