Oyster shell chunks too large- they bill it out and make a huge mess- waste most of it.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by off-grid hen, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Currently I'm giving manna pro oyster shell free choice. My girls bill it out to find the smallest pieces, leaving much of it on the floor of the coop and on the ground in the run. The only ones I ever see at the shell feeders are my leghorns. My partridge rocks have thinner shells. Otherwise they get layer pellets.

    I tried scattering some on the ground around the yard to see if they'd eat more that way, but they don't. They love crushed egg shells though, and clean them up every time I give them. Are there any other brands that have smaller bits of oyster shell? Have any of you ever had this problem?

    I know the stuff isn't that expensive, but I hate to scoop half of it up in the shovel when I clean out the coop. Just seems so wasteful to me.
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    You can always crush it a little more.

    An old cookpot and a baseball bat would make a good "mortar and pestle", but anything similar could work

    If you're not having problems with thin shells, they could just do without it
     
  3. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hens do waste oyster shell, but if it's ground too finely and it is not as completely absorbed (counter-intuitive, but true.) I have a tidy and less-wasteful way to give them oyster shell - I put it in a rabbit feeder (the metal type with the hopper and the mesh wire bottom.) Very little waste, and it stays dry in the coop. Pics here (and more about calcium supplementation):
    http://www.hencam.com/henblog/2011/12/oyster-shell-for-hens/
     
  4. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    . Just a few of my partridge rocks have thinner shells. They aren't weak, but give a bit when cracked. Not as good as my doms or brown leghorns. I just pictured myself with the baseball bat and the pot- I can almost see my husband shaking his head, ha!
     
  5. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so the multi quote messed up on my iPad. The feeder that I have the oyster shell in is like the rabbit feeder, but has a solid bottom. I got it from stromberg's. They bill it out of this feeder right onto the floor-and into the shavings, the silly leghorns!

    Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012

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