Need egg laying advice quickly....thank you!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AllCoop'dUp, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. AllCoop'dUp

    AllCoop'dUp Songster

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    May 12, 2010
    Creswell, Oregon
    So my 18 wk olds are finally laying..YEAH!! Bad news...soft shells and they are breaking. Some are laying in their nest boxes, others up on their roost and outside on the ground. I know the solution is to give them oyster shell and laying pellets, but I have a mixed group all living under one roof and I can't control who eats what. They range in age from 5 weeks to 18 wks. I can put the oyster shell in a separate feeding dish, but have read not to let the younger chicks eat oyster shell or laying pellets. What do other people do with a mixed group?
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    My younger birds are not allowed with my older birds until the younger birds are at least 16 weeks old.

    Good luck.
     
  3. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

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    Quote:Ditto on this. But if it's working for you that's great.

    You can switch them to Purina Flock Raiser and just have oyster shells free choice for your hens. They will only eat it when the need it.

    Missi
     
  4. ejctm

    ejctm Songster

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    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    Don't worry about getting a few funky eggs to start with, it is quite normal. Their reproductive systems are just kicking in and they don't always get it right at the start. You could get some mis-shapen eggs, some really HUGE double-yolkers, some really teensy tiny ones, some with super thick shells, some without shells at all.

    It all settles down after a few weeks.

    If you are making oyster shell available, then they are getting enough calcium. You can also give them washed and crushed egg shell mixed in with food. Or even hard boiled eggs mashed with the shells on which is good for protein as well. Any extra calcium the younger ones get is just not absorbed by their bodies, but does them no harm.
     
  5. JetBlack

    JetBlack Songster

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    AllCoop'dUp :

    So my 18 wk olds are finally laying..YEAH!! Bad news...soft shells and they are breaking. Some are laying in their nest boxes, others up on their roost and outside on the ground. I know the solution is to give them oyster shell and laying pellets, but I have a mixed group all living under one roof and I can't control who eats what. They range in age from 5 weeks to 18 wks. I can put the oyster shell in a separate feeding dish, but have read not to let the younger chicks eat oyster shell or laying pellets. What do other people do with a mixed group?

    Oyster shells... they'll eat it if they need it. Won't if they don't.

    That rhymes...

    I'm a poet and don't even know it.

    But my legs show it.

    They're long fellows.

    [MAKE ME STOP!!!]​
     
  6. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    I have my younger birds segregated by a temporary chicken wire fence so that I can control what they eat (and protect them from the older birds).

    Congrats on the layers!!!

    Oh, some of my flock doesn't seem to like oyster shell, but LOVE yogurt.
     
  7. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

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    I have had that situation for 2 yrs. The young ones won't eat the oyster shell. I add yogurt mixed with peanut butter. They love it and it has alot of calcium and protein. Mine have always done well and have good shells.
     
  8. Kyhen

    Kyhen Chirping

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    I keep a golf ball in my nesting boxes. This helps the hens to learn where a safe place is to lay their eggs. You can also mark an egg to leave in the nest and switch it out every few days.
     
  9. everybody gets unmedicated starter and free will oyster shell.never have any problems
     
  10. AllCoop'dUp

    AllCoop'dUp Songster

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    May 12, 2010
    Creswell, Oregon
    Thank you all for your input. Because I also have ducks, they have all been on Flockraiser and I also have put out a small container of oyster shell for the laying hens. I do have a golf ball in one of the nest and they seem to be avoiding that nest. I think it's just taking them a while to get the hang of things. Thanks again BYC!!
     

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