My roo is eating all the oyster shell!?!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Shannon's Chix, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    My 21 week old BR roo keeps eating all my oyster shell. I have a container out for my 2 layers, my other 4 girls are at 20 weeks and not laying yet (any day now [​IMG]) and so I have them on 18% (I think) grower crumbles.

    Until about 2 weeks ago I would have to fill the container with oyster shell about once a week. Then I noticed my roo was eating the oyster shell a lot when I was out with them and I have to refill about every 2-3 days![​IMG]

    I've been observing and he has no trouble getting to the feed, and treats I often give consist of cheese, yogurt and grapes.

    Does anyone know why he's doing this? Could it hurt him? Thanks!
  2. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    I'd switch them to layer feed for all the birds and pull your oyster shells. Just my personal opinion. I don't use oyster shell at all, just the layer feed and mine free range in the evenings.
  3. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    On another thread, this was discussed too. As I recall, depending on the layer feed, oyster shell may or may not be necessary. So I put a small bowl out and they eat it. If it helps, then it is a small price to pay as a bag will last many years. jmho
  4. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Songster

    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    Do they grit, also?
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    At least, he's no longer a chick.

    It may be a need for grit but, if not, chickens are supposed to be very good at self-regulating their calcium intake. If they are given a choice.

    "It is also interesting to realize that most roosters today are fed high-calcium breeder diets, which provide 4-6x their calcium needs, yet kidney dysfunction is quite rare in these birds." That's encouraging too, from an Ontario poultry specialist.

  6. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    Yes to the grit...we basically live on a sand hill so their run is mostly sand, and I use it for bedding in the coop because it's free!

    Thanks Steve, great article. He's probably fine with the way it is now, not sure if I'll continue with oyster shell once I switch them all to layer feed...thanks!

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