Oyster shell or not?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tdc1999, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. tdc1999

    tdc1999 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 1, 2013
    Oklahoma
    First time raising chickens, got them in June and they started laying first week of December. They all said the first eggs would be a little soft and deformed; but mine have been perfect from day one. Everyone says that I should be feeding them oyster shell. I feed laying pellets, scratch, and scraps from the house. Do they really need oyster shell?
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    If you have a mixed age flock and have everyone on chick, grower, or game feed then you would. The fact that you are feeding them layer and have no problems means that it is already mixed in your feed and you won't need it unless you have a problem.
     
  3. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,405
    53
    216
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    The layer feeds will have some calcium in them and a lot of times that is enough for chickens to lay strong eggs however even if they don't necessarily need the oyster shell I still leave it out for them free choice. They do not eat it like feed they take some as they feel the need it. So the oyster shell lasts quite a while.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,699
    1,232
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They need oyster shell (or baked egg shells) fed back to them for the calcium to make strong shells. They will take it as they need it.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,530
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Your layer feed has enough calcium in it. I highly doubt commercial flocks are supplemented oyster shell, etc, just layer feed. That's what it's formulated for, to be a complete feed for laying hens.

    New layers CAN lay funky eggs, doesn't mean they all WILL. Younger hens especially have a goodly supply of calcium in their bodies. My experience is my older hens of high production breeds are the ones that want extra calcium. Makes sense to me as they've been using their supply for years. Young birds are still well stocked.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by