Normal for chickens to turn up their beaks at crushed oyster shells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Lucy4, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    I offer it; they turn away and look at me like I'm trying to POISON them.

    I wouldn't care, but their eggshells have been sort of weak lately. Anything else I can give them? (No, they won't eat pulverized egg shells either.)

  2. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    A little raw apple cider vinegar in their water (1 T per gallon) helps with the absorption of nutrients, including minerals for egg shells.
  3. Are you giving it free choice? we just mix it in with the feed and they eat it.

    Steve in NC
  4. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    Thanks to both of you. Never tried apple cider vinegar (but I use it as a facial toner, so it's around!) As for how I offered it, I just scattered it around the pen the same way I would treats. Perhaps I should put it in their feeder with the pellets? Will try. Thanks!
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Oyster shell isn't attractive to chickens like treats are. They aren't going to chase it down and gobble it up. They'll eat a little as they feel like it or one day you may suddenly find the amount goes down and other days it won't. That's why most provide a seperate dish for it.
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Quote:Exactly! A hen will not touch oyster shell unless she needs it. I keep a filled dish inside the henhouse at all times.
  7. Scoot58

    Scoot58 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2009
    Carver MA
    I have a little bowl next to their feeder and I don't think they touch them much. I still have 1 hen who is dropping a jello egg while perching at night. Not sure why but I am getting 5-6 beautiful eggs a day from 7 girls so I am not worrying about it.
  8. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    I offer it to mine in a separate hanging feeder. They only eat is as needed and it lasts quite a while.

  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If they're coming to the end of their lay cycle and getting ready to molt it's common for the shell quality to deteriorate. Once they've molted and grown a new feather suit egg quality usually goes up again. Not quite as many as they used to lay, but typically somewhat larger.

  10. Oopoo

    Oopoo In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2009
    I save my eggshells and rinse them. Let them dry really well and keep them in an open container. Then I put them in the microwave for 1 min. wait and then again for about 1 min. then I crush them and my girls love them. You can also try crushed limestone. It alsco contains calcium and works like grit. yeah 2 for 1![​IMG]

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