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Is it ok for roosters to eat oyster shells ??/

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TNBlacktails, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. TNBlacktails

    TNBlacktails Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im going to start my chickens on layer pellets and OS is it ok if my roosters eat the oyster shells ? Will it effect my roosters in any way ? THANKS.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  2. TNBlacktails

    TNBlacktails Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please anyone ? help i dnt wnat to mix it n wiht the feed i give them and my roos getting sick.
     
  3. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    Our roosters eat the same food as the hens and always have and now and then even peck in the shell pan a bit. Don't worry it will not hurt them...

    There is already calcium in most prepared layer food so we offer shells in a seperate container.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  4. TNBlacktails

    TNBlacktails Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much [​IMG]
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    The rooster eating the Layer feed is more a problem than the Oyster Shells.
    Roosters do not need the added calcium that is in Layer Feed and the Roosters will/can have health problems with in time for the extra calcium in there diet.

    Most if not all the people and all the breeders I know will feed a Starter/Grower rather than a Layer Feed and just offer the Oyster Shells on the side.


    Chris
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm not sure why you're giving layer feed, which is supplemented with calcium, and oyster shell? It's just redundant is all.

    Personally, I give an all in one, like a grower, to everyone. I offer oyster shell on the side. My laying hens eat what they want, the rooster doesn't eat it but he picks it up to show the hens it's there cause he knows they like it, the littles taste it but don't really eat it.

    Layer feed is really for hen only flocks. I know lots of folks here say they feed it to their rooster and have no problems, but how many of those folks have enough roosters long term enough to know if it causes problems?
     
  7. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    Hi Chris09,

    just saying I have been raising chickens or around them for 50 years now and have never seen a calcium related problem in all that time and they all eat the same food after 20 weeks, layer pellets. I have heard this said before, but have never had an issue in all my time keeping layers and roos together. We have very healthy birds in both flocks on the feeding plan we use here and this is hands on experience.... Just would not work here with 60 birds trying to feed roosters in a different way.

    We also offer oyster shell in a pan in each run as well.

    I would be interested in seeing some photos with related literature of the problems you mentioned as one is never too old to learn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The other posters are correct in that a rooster technically shouldn't eat layer feed- he should have something like Flock Raiser or Grower feed (or unmedicated chick starter). The Flock Raiser and unmedicated chick starter have too much protein for a rooster- so you can cut it a little bit with some grains like scratch if you want as long as they have some greens for vitamins. Grower feed should be about right in protein for a roo.

    (Oyster shells are required to be fed on the side for layers if feeding Flock Raiser, Grower, or unmedicated chick starter as these are too low in calcium for a laying hen).


    But a lot of people don't really worry about the roos that much and feed layer feed anyway as that is what they are giving the hens. I did that too before I started mixing my feed up. It is a personal decision. To some people their roos are future meals, to others they are pets, and to others they are prized breeder birds.

    The roo will try the oyster shells and it won't hurt him. He won't eat enough.

    The layer feed is damaging though to the kidneys if they aren't a layer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    You pegged our operation and we rotate every 3 years and most roos end up as chicken and dumplings unless it is one we really like like old Hubert. Could be why we have never seen issues I suppose. Hubert is 5 now and still king of the free range yard and like I said for us to try to feed them differently would be very difficult at best. I would still love to see a study related to this if anyone has one showing tests and results leading to damage from eating layer feed.

    For all around chicken farming it is fine in my opinion, but as you said breeders do thisgs very differently in many cases.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  10. TNBlacktails

    TNBlacktails Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So instead of layer pellets get grower and mix it with the scratch i give them and put the oyster shells in a pan or something ?
     

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