My Hens Gobble Up Oyster Shells like Candy!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SnookumsGal, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. SnookumsGal

    SnookumsGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2016
    I have three backyard hens all just around 4 months old. None of them are laying yet but I want to make sure that they have enough calcium for when they do. They are currently on regular layer feed pellets for food.

    A couple of times I have put out a small tray of oyster shells for them that is separate from their automatic feeders. And I swear they eat it all by the next day! I don't want to be having to buy a new bag of it before I see any eggs.

    Is there such a thing as over eating for oyster shells? And should I not be feeding it to them until they are laying?
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2015
    It's obvious your chickens know they need the calcium,just stop feeding them Oyster shell till they begin showing signs of ready to lay.
     
  3. dindonuffin

    dindonuffin Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2016
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    Are you giving them any Grit??
    They may be eating the oyster shells due to not having any grit. If this is the case, replace the oyster shells with grit.
    Then add the shell back, along with the grit when they start laying.
     
  4. Tika75

    Tika75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with @dindonuffin , take out the oyster shells and give them grit if you aren't already. After they start laying offer the oyster shells again. That reminds me, I ran out of oyster shells this weekend and need to get some more. LOL
     
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They know oyster shell from grit.
     
  6. Tika75

    Tika75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes but if oyster shell is the only thing being offered that is what they will eat. I didn't know there was a difference when I first got my chickens either. I heard people talking about oyster shell and grit and thought it was the same thing.
     
  7. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I keep the oyster shell in a pan that hangs on the fence in the run. It is away from the food, so if a birds wants oyster shell they have to go there to get it.

    I don't keep the oyster shell near the food, my pullets aren't laying and I don't want them getting confused by seeing the oyster shell.

    All the layers know where it is, they use it often. The pullets know where it is, I've seen them sample it a time or two.

    They will get a craving for the oyster shell when they are laying heavy...mostly they pick at it a couple times per week.
     
  8. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes,but they have feed. Offering grit may not solve the problem,give it a TRY and se what happens.
     
  9. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2016
    My birds have granite grit in chick and regular size , oyster shell free choice. I have each in it's own feeder and they are right next to each other. The chicks get the chick sized grit sprinkled over feed until they go out on grass when they get it free choice. When pullets get close to lay they start eating more oyster shell. Mine free range, so have access all the time. If penned, I don't think I would put oyster shell out until they are laying.

     
  10. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    My birds pickup grit as they forage in the yard. There is one area along the fence where the contractor dumped a bunch of pea-gravel when they built our house, that is where the flock goes to get grit.
     

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