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how to "serve" grit & oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by delfargo, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. how should you "serve" grit & oyster shell? out of a feeder, a pan (i would think they would all just walk in a pan), just throw it on the floor? thanx for the info.
  2. city kid farm

    city kid farm Chirping

    Apr 17, 2010
    Great question. I put mine in pans on the floor of the run and they knock it all over the place within minutes... Sigh. I bet some has a good suggestion.
  3. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    I seem to remember that a lot of people nail a tuna can to the wall of the coop and fill it with oyster shells or grit, and the birds will take what they need.

    I don't do grit - mine free-range and have lots of grit in their run. But for oyster shells, I put a heavy cat bowl next to the feeder with the layer pellets, and the layers will eat it at will. At least, I assume they're eating it... The level goes down, and they're not making a mess on the floor of the coop with it! The bowl is tapered on the sides and has never tipped. (I use the same kind of bowl for yogurt and they've never tipped it.)

    Before I got a mixed-age flock, I added the crushed shells directly to the feed. Often I added crushed egg shells as well. But when we got some pullets, I wound up with two feeders - one with layer pellets and one with pullet crumbles. Since almost ALL of the birds like the pullet feed more, I had to add the bowl of shells. I've never seen a pullet eating from it, not once.
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I use those little ceramic dishes from the pet store, and put them in the corner of the coop and run. They do get knocked over occasionally.
  5. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    I put grit in an old whipped cream container....I just leave it on the floor in the coop, they come in thruout the day and take what they need.
  6. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    I had been putting the grit and oyster shell on old plastic plates on the floor of the run and they would hop right in and scratch in it and fling it all over. I just took the pans out and started casting it out on the floor of the run a couple of weeks ago. Why not? That's where it ends up anyway and gives them something to scratch for.

    I can't say if it has any effect on the egg shells since I just got my first one Sunday, but the shells are nice and hard.
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I keep oyster shell in the henhouses in heavy duty black rubber bowls from the local feedstore or TSC. Grits not needed when they have dirt runs or free range.
  8. anbhean

    anbhean Chirping

    Jun 3, 2010
    I'm glad I found this thread, since I just started feeding my girls oyster shell as well. I have a quick question though (sorry about hijacking the thread!)... will they ever over eat the shell? Can just having them eat it at will cause any issues? I know the bag I bought says to mix it in with the food in very, very small amounts (one 50 lb bad per TON of chicken feed). But I don't buy my feed by the ton (I have three chickens, not 200) and that equals probably less that a cup or two full per bag. So I worry about too much oyster shell.

    Any one have any issues on over doing the oyster shell?
  9. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Quote:I keep my separate in a dish from their layer feeds. Layer has calicum in it already. Hens won't touch the oyster shell unless they need it. Some hens never munch on the oyster shell.
  10. erin76

    erin76 Chirping

    May 17, 2010
    Battle Ground, WA
    I have two containers that attach to the sides of a dog crate so they are off the ground and can't get knocked over. You can find them at any pet store, they attach to the hardware cloth.

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