Layer feed mixed with oyster shells ratios

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by patman75, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    For those who mix their layer feed and oyster shell together what ratio of feed to oyster shells do you use? I'm allways dealing with shoft shells and thin shells. My chickens dont eat the oyster shells I leave out for them so I started mixing the feed and oyster shells and it seems to have helped. But I'm not sure how much to oyster shells to mix into the feed.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    I have not yet tried free-choice of calcium for mine. I just sprinkle a small small handful on top of their trough which is 3 ft long. Ditto for grit, but only every other day. Another way is to recycle the egg shells by crunching/grinding to consistency of fine sand. The egg shells will contain trace minerals from the very ground the chooks walk on and shell-based calcium will contain different trace minerals as found in sea water. I suspect both are good. Am thinking of adding extra fine crushed shells to my own diet, both for the calcium and for all of the trace minerals.

    Of course, If I begin to bob my head as I walk, peck at my food, or poop in the yard as I move about out there, I might have to re-think that![​IMG]
  3. Preservation Acres

    Preservation Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I tried doing that, but it didn't work out for me. They ended up eating the feed and leaving their OS so their feed was eventually burried in shell. Free choice OS works best for me.

    With that being said, best of luck to you. If it works out, I'd like to know your strategy.
  4. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Mine would have none of the oyster shells free choice. I started mixing them into their feed and they have no problems eating it that way, but I buy the crumble instead of the pellets so it really just blends right in. I don't really follow a ratio, just eye ball it. I use a large scoop to fill up a 5 pound bucket to carry their feed, it usually holds 2 and 1/2 scoops. I scoop, throw a handfull of oyster shells in, then another scoop, and another handfull of shells, and then mix. The egg shells are nice and firm now, I haven't had a broken one in the nest box since I started adding it directly to their feed.
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    That's really weird that they won't touch the free-choice oyster shell. Could it be that it is too fine? I know mine won't touch the powder that falls to the bottom, they want round little pieces they can pick up. Are you feeding a layer with calcium already? Maybe they don't feel they need any more...
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  6. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have tried 3 different brands of oyster shells each one has a slightly different consistancy. They would just spill most of it in the tractor and now they just ignore it or must likely too stupid to eat some in the winter coop.

    I got tired of making treats and mixing calcium every time. I guess I will will throw some in and when thier shells get thicker I will cut back.
  7. Ms~Silkie~Girl

    Ms~Silkie~Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    New York STATE
    I just put some in and mix it around, i dont measure it [​IMG]
  8. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I don't mix mine. Oyster Shell and Grit are fed free choice. They eat it as needed. I don't have thin egg shells.
  9. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Another thing that works well for me is to mix some milk with their mash. Make it the consistency of ketchup, they will love it, and the calcium from the milk is very easily absorbed. It also works well for broilers that might get weak legs from growing too fast. Sour milk works too.

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