Nuts for Oyster Shells.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GC-Raptor, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

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    My 17 week old Barred Rocks went crackers over Oyster Shells this morning. One or more were showing interest in a nest box, always had access since 7 1/2 weeks. I noticed one nest the straw was made into a bowl shape. 20181211_090509.jpg . So I added a ceramic egg to each yesterday.
    Today I hung a bucket with Oyster Shells and all 7 ate some. 20181213_100029.jpg . They have Poultry Grit. None have laid. GC
     
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  2. imnukensc

    imnukensc Songster

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    The earliest I've had a BR lay was 21 weeks. Most have not started until about 26 weeks.
     
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  3. CathrynK

    CathrynK Chirping

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    Are their combs getting red? It sure sounds like you may have an early layer. I had a Buff Orpington that laid at 16 weeks. That was a surprise!
     
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  4. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

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    Their combs and wattles are small, some combs are red others are pale. Their faces and wattles are red though. 20181212_091041.jpg 20181212_091051.jpg They are not squatting either.
    I am currently feeding a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower 18% Protein and .8 to 1.3% Calcium. GC
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Were OS previously available?
    Chances are just gorging on new 'food'.
     
  6. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    Mine hens for whatever reason seem to really go for fresh OS. Meaning anytime I add to the bowl they line up for it. Either way it’s a good thing that your girls have it and eat it. Young ones can show some very comical behaviors when they’re getting ready to lay. Best wishes.
     
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  7. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

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    No, it was the first time they've seen Oyster Shells. I hung the pail Thursday and filled it with the OS. 20181213_100023.jpg One day later a good amount was consumed from the 40 oz pail. 20181214_095753.jpg . The 7 pullets had Poultry Grit available for 10 weeks, at the other end. 20181214_095809.jpg . So they weren't lacking Grit.

    It seems like they really need Calcium before laying the first egg, more than is in a Starter-Grower or Flock Raiser. Like they need to fill the Medullary bones.

    I like to offer Oyster Shells at 16 weeks, but didn't hang the pail till 17 weeks. They have their own coop, separate from the hens. GC
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nope, just gorging on new 'food'....had this happen when I put granite grit into a container. One of the hens I slaughtered this fall gizzard was chock full of that grit.
    I now just occasionally mix some into the scratch grains I spread out in the run,
    I do that with OS too until the pullets start getting it out of the container.
     
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  9. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    I think the Calcium requirements for laying hens is overestimated.
    While it probably does no harm to have extra calcium available fully free range chickens manage to lay eggs without any commercially supplied food or supplements.
    I agree with aart, it's novelty food.
     
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  10. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    LOL. The title made me think you were going to ask if nuts could be used in place of oyster shells.
     

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