Kent man said no oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by swamy, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. swamy

    swamy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2011
    My standard breed hens are on Kent Home fresh 16 layer feed. The owner of the Kent store here told me I don't need oyster shell. So I haven't given it. Should I still offer it to them free choice in a separate container?

    We have had 6 or 7 soft shells from 20 week old birds....BUT, I believe those have all been first time eggs as they are all dropped from the roost or on the ground at first light. Only good eggs have been laid in the nesting boxes by the birds that are regular now and know what to do. See my reason for concern? Lot of soft shells for first egg...could that be an indication calcium is a little low?
  2. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    While our layer feed is "complete" I have always offered free choice oyster shell on the side. The girls who need it will eat it.
  3. farmdude

    farmdude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2009
    NE Wisconsin
    Quote:X2! [​IMG]
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Wait and see. If the soft eggs were all just starter, pullet droppings, and all the egg since have been fine, there's not much to be concerned about. Most pullet don't get their systems regulated until they've laid for a month.

    For what it is worth, I, like many, many others here, never bother with oyster shell. The layer feed I buy has calcium and I feed back egg shells as well. There is only so much calcium they can process anyway. The law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point.
  5. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    It depends on what kind of birds you have, I've found the heritage breeds generally don't need added oyster shells because they don't lay as many eggs as commercial or high egg laying breeds. Leghorns for example, might need added oyster shells because they lay soo many eggs.

    Just wait and see if you get any soft-shelled eggs, if you do then you can give them extra calcium through oyster shells. If not, then I wouldn't bother.
  6. swamy

    swamy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2011
    Thanks folks. Will wait another month to let them get regular and decide then. The birds are Buff O's/Wyondottes/Americaunas/RIR. Shells from the birds on a regular schedule are very solid.

    Thanks again.
  7. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Quote:X2! [​IMG]


    I've had issues with thin/soft shelled eggs off and on with various birds. Not since offering free choice oyster shells in addition to supposedly "complete" feed.
  8. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    A complete layer feed is fine, Oyster shell can be given if you start to see or have shell issues other than that there really isn't a need. But it will never hurt them if you feed it even if they don't need it.
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:The Kent Feed Home Fresh 16 Layer is a calcium-fortified diet (more calcium than a standard layer feed at 3.3% minimum and4.3% maximum calcium) and there is no need for additional nutrient supplementation.

    At one time I fed Home Fresh 16 and never had to offer oyster shell.

  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    You didn't say what else you feed or if they free range at all.

    If you only feed a layer feed, it usually has enough calcium for the majority of layers. If you feed anything else in addition to that, then I think you really should offer oyster shell on the side. Things like scratch grain and other foods that don't have enough of the calcium they need dilute the percentage of calcium in the total diet.

    They're usually good about taking what they need and leaving it, if they don't need it. It's cheap insurance and a bag usually lasts a really long time.

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