not eating any oyster shell or grit


7 Years
Apr 20, 2015
corpus christi, tx 78413
I switched my girls to straight grower feed...20% and no calcium...I've provided a small feeder of oyster shell and another with grit...

I've seen zero drop in the level of both feeders...

I probably crush about 20% of the egg shells and return to the run area for then to nibble on. they free range the back yard all day.

I'm guessing they don't need any extra grit but would expect some oyster shell consumption.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 23, 2010
St. Louis, MO
Are they laying eggs?
They won't use any oyster shell until they feel the need.
I would forego the egg shells a while to see if there is some OS consumption.
Grit lasts a while in the gizzard. Mine will go a long time on a little bit.


Dec 16, 2015
This is just fine, they eat such a small amount that it will always be hard to see.

It's very very important to have the grit, shell, and calcium, but it's such a small amount that they use.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I too would ask if they are laying...and what you were feeding before and how long since the feed switch?
If it's a 'new food' they might not catch on right away...or not need it yet.

I crush the empty egg shells fairly small and mix with the oyster shell in a separate feeder that is always available.
They nosh 'em down....not sure how much they actually eat or spill into the bedding,<shrugs> but shells are hard.


Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Are they laying? If so, how do the shells look? Are they thick and hard enough? If the shells are OK then the chickens are OK. One other question though, how long has this been? Has it been long enough to tell how it’s going?

The Grower feed I’m familiar with has around 1% calcium, not 0%, but I’m not looking at your label. Growing chicks need some calcium for skeleton growth and just basic body functions. It sounds really strange that your Grower has no calcium.

Chickens that are laying eggs need more calcium than that 1%. That can come from stuff we give them like oyster shell or egg shells. Since yours forage they can get extra calcium form some plants they eat. Many of the creepy crawlies they catch provide some calcium. If your native rock is limestone or they have access to a limestone driveway they may get enough calcium from that alone.

I think offering oyster shell on the side is a prudent thing to do. If they need it then it is available. If they don’t need it then it can last for an unbelievably long time. Just watch your egg shells. As long as they are OK what you are doing is working.

If they are getting enough grit while foraging, and they probably are, then any grit you offer them can last a real long time too. Don’t concern yourself with that at all.

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