Oyster/calcium question


In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
As a soon-to-be chicken newb, I still have a few questions.

When I get my chicks, I plan on feeding them a chick starter. At what age do I switch them to layer Pellets (I will be hens only per village ordinance) and when do I give them oyster, eggshells or other calcium? how much? Do I simply set up a feeder with the oyster, and let them help themselves?

How does this work?
Start with the layer when they either are about to lay or are laying around 18 to 22 weeks. If you are feeding layer it will have the necessary
calcium already in it. If you feed other things then the layer then yes they may need the calcium after they start to lay. Letting them self regulate is the best way of giving it to them is put it in a separate dish/feeder or spread it on the ground. Mixing it in with the feed runs the risk they over consume calcium, leading to kidney problems.
I feed an all flock type feed that doesn't have the extra calcium. I just toss a handful of oyster shells on the ground once a week. It's all it takes for my five hens to have strong shells.

At 8 weeks or when you finally run out of starter you can switch to a grower feed or non medicated starter.

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