Limit to amount of oyster shell?

viktoriacl

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2010
456
25
164
My girls are 20 weeks today. No eggs yet. They are EE's The days are getting shorter and not sure if they will even lay this fall. The question is They will eat as much Oyster shell as I give them. Is there a limit as to haow much they can get? There are 4 of them and if I fill a cat food dish 3/4 full they will eat all of it in a day and more if I gave them more. Should I just offer it here and there or what???
 

viktoriacl

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2010
456
25
164
Yes it is all by itself in that dish. Why would they need that much? Maybe because they are still finishing the bag of grower feed? Is there more Calcium in layer feed?
 

cletus the rooster

Songster
10 Years
Jun 6, 2009
233
0
109
northeast north carolina
are you sure they are not just hungry?due to my wide range of chicken ages (day olds to 2 yo) i feed starter/grower with oyster shell freewill.they only eat the shell as needed.had to increase the feed because overeating IMO of the shell.problem solved for me.also,laying mash does have more calcium
 

Morgan7782

Dense Egg Goo
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
2,013
115
201
Sacramento CA
Wait, so none of your chickens are laying yet? I wouldn't offer oyster shell until the day I got my first egg. At least that is what I have been told numerous times on BYC. The oyster shell is to strengthen the egg shells, but if they are not laying, why offer it?

Also, please do not think just because the "chicken eats it" that their bodies need that source of calcium. Chickens eat plenty of stuff that is bad for them like foamboard, caulking, all kinds of stuff, and I doubt my chickens are needing extra foam or caulking in their diet. Just IMO.
 
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viktoriacl

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2010
456
25
164
Noone is laying. They have plenty of food available all of the time. I had that thought too. Maybe the grower isnt keeping them satisfied? Mine ate styrofoam insulation too. Pretty sure they eat anything and they arent aware they are calcium deficient. Maybe I'll start mixing in some layer pellets and see if that helps. What other greens do you all feed. My girls really love grass!
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
276
336
DFW
I've never had any of mine gobble oystershell like that. Are you offering regular chicken feed free choice? I wonder if there is some kind of other nutritional deficiency in their diet...access to greens, for example.
 

Morgan7782

Dense Egg Goo
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
2,013
115
201
Sacramento CA
Spinich is good for them, and is very nutritious. Grass is also good! Mine LOVE grape leaves from our grapevines, hopefully some others can chime in with more suggestions.
 

viktoriacl

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2010
456
25
164
Oh NO! Now I'm afraid they are hungry!!! I'm getting them more greens at the grocery store this AM! Maybe switch to layer feed too?
 

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