No Calcium?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CowgirlPenny, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    733
    1
    131
    Feb 17, 2011
    South East TN
    I keep getting some conflicting info about calcium. From what I have read, if the hen is fed a well balanced diet and a good feed...she wont need the calcium. I feed flock raiser and they get garden scraps daily (greens, greenbeans, tomatoes, corn, peas and more). I have one BSL who's laid a perfect hard shelled (double yolk!) egg for 8 days. Do I still need to offer them calcium on the side?
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Quote:
    Do I still need to offer them calcium on the side?

    If you were feeding a Layer Feed and that was there sole diet I would say no, but you are feeding flock raiser which is basically a grower and you are offering garden scraps so I would recommend supplementing Calcium.

    Chris​
     
  3. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    8
    111
    Nov 8, 2010
    Ohio
    Oyster shells don't cost much. Place some in a separate bowl or feeder -- free choice. If they need calcium then they will go eat some of the shells. Feeding back egg shells helps too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  4. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    3
    111
    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    If you were feeding a Layer Feed and that was there sole diet I would say no, but you are feeding flock raiser which is basically a grower and you are offering garden scraps so I would recommend supplementing Calcium.

    Very good advice.

    Oyster shells don't cost much. Place some in a separate bowl or feeder -- free choice. If they need calcium then they will go eat some of the shells.

    MORE very good advice.​
     
  5. Trevi70

    Trevi70 Out Of The Brooder

    28
    1
    24
    Jun 30, 2010
    Plymouth
    I feed my chickens a 50/50 blend of layer feed and cracked corn only in the winter. In the summer they get strictly layer feed. Been contemplating the oyster shells for a while now. What do you all think?
     
  6. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,596
    11
    163
    Feb 23, 2011
    Crossville, Tennessee
    My egg shells are much better since they started getting oyster shells.
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    32,405
    6,107
    621
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I use Flock Raiser and Chick Starter on my hens. They also get plenty of table scraps and free range thru the gardens, although this time of year not much eating in these places. However I offer my girls oyster shell on the side. Some of them eat it frequently and others I see rarely eat any at all. My girls lay nice hard eggs.

    I don't want to risk the shell hardness and offer it anyway. And who needs egg bound hens?! A 50 pound bag of oyster shell is about $9.99 and it lasts a REALLY long time if you put it in a heavy bowl or dish they won't dump over.

    If the hens need it, it is there. If not, it can sit in this bowl forever till they do eat it. [​IMG]
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    5,975
    1,245
    336
    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I fed Flock Raiser until all of my pullets were laying and then switched to a local layer feed. I noticed that only the layers were eating the oyster shell and they started pretty much the day they laid their first egg. Right before switching feed, I was going through a cup of oyster shell per week with 7 pullets (they were also getting a few scraps and access to forage including a compost pile that had lots of eggshell available). I've never had a soft egg or excess calcium deposits on the shells so I think they know what they're doing.

    Now that I'm giving the layer feed, I'm predicting a big slow-down on oyster shell consumption but it really doesn't matter since the stuff keeps indefinitely.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by