Layer feed vs. oyster shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jennyhaschicks, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Maine
    I guess I am a bit confused maybe.
    If I add crushed oyster shell into the grower pellets is that the same as feeding them layer pellets? Is the oyster shell for added calcium or is it like a grit?
    What would you recommend?
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Oyster shell is provided to give extra calcium to laying birds. Younger birds shouldn't be given oyster shell. Oyster shell shouldn't be added to the feed, but given separately. The laying hens will eat only what they need, so if you add it to their feed, they may bill out and waste oyster shell and/or feed.

    Granite grit is used as grit to help male and female birds of all ages digest their food.
     
  3. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Michigan
    I address this in an article on my blog . You might want to check it out. Good luck!
     
  4. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Maine
    thank you to the both of you. I thought I understood all of this feeding stuff, but then I question myself. [​IMG]
     
  5. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:So according to you then, my best option for feeding hens & roosters is to feed finisher to all and offer hens oyster shell.

    and that's sufficient for the laying hens?
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I give my girls oyster shells in a separate dish and grit in another dish as free choice. They take what they need. I didn't give them the oyster shells until they started laying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  7. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:^^^^^^^ AWESOME SIGNATURE LINE ^^^^^^^
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2008
  8. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Michigan
    Quote:So according to you then, my best option for feeding hens & roosters is to feed finisher to all and offer hens oyster shell.

    and that's sufficient for the laying hens?

    If you have mixed sexes, and ages in the same pen, it is the best way I have found to not feed the extra calcium to young birds, and roosters that don't need it. If you provide oyster shells, and give them plenty of sunlight, they will lay nice thick egg shells for you without layer feed. [​IMG]
     
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I keep my very young birds (up to three months) separate (so they are unable to get the feed or supplements offered to the other birds)... I also have silkies which tend to start laying much later than other birds.
    After that I just offer the layer feed in a separate feeder (in my case mixed cracked grains are mixed in / figured in wiht the nutritional profile so I would not want them diluting their feed by picking those out which is why I separate the first two/three months) .... I have never seen my roos or young birds eat the layer pellets. My adult girls do though and in addition to that eat the oystershell.
    It is not an "either/or" situation IMHO as calcium absorption can be influenced by many things and the oystershell is there for those times the girls need that extra (despite having layer pellets available)
     
  10. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi,

    Does anyone know what goes into those starter, grower, finisher, and layer pellets?

    I know that layer feed has more calcium than, say, grower feed, and that starter feed is ground up so as to make it easier for chicks to eat... but... are there ingredient lists?
     

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