Is oyster necessary with a feed labeled "for laying hens?"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mtnmomma3, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Mtnmomma3

    Mtnmomma3 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2013
    We only have three chickens, all of them 22 week old laying hens. We were encouraged to by the Layina food (though I'm not sold on it at this point).

    Do we also need to get the oyster shells?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Most commercial feed formulas, designated as "Layer" or feed for laying hens have an appropriate amount of calcium carbonate already ground into the feed.

    Providing oyster shell is just an option. It may be important if a large portion of the hens' diet comes from eating other things. Sometimes eggs laid seem to have soft shells as a result. Calcium rich left overs in the garden, such as cabbage and broccoli also provide supplemental benefit.

    So, do you HAVE to buy oyster shells? Many, many people do not and do not have a soft egg shell issue.
  3. roostereggs

    roostereggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2013
    Ours eat layer food, but still eat the oyster shell. We also started reusing crushed empty shells, and I haven't had to buy oyster shell since!

    We rinse and throw all shells into a bowl next to the sink. Anytime we use the oven for our dinner, we throw them in on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. I put them in a gallon ziplock and when it starts to fill up I crush them with a rolling pin into fine pieces and keep them in the bag (adding to it) until I need them. Amazingly, the shells haven't cut holes in the bag.

    I did find that Walmart has the same oyster shell in the horse/dog section that my feed store has, but for $2-3 less per bag.

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