Oyster Shell - who will eat it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GRAM49, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. GRAM49

    GRAM49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2008
    Indiana
    I am combining my two flocks in a few weeks. The younger ones are will be 10 weeks old. The older flock is ready to lay (but haven't). Will the younger ones eat the oyster shell if they aren't ready for it yet? Will it hurt them if they do? So far they will eat anything! TIA for any help.
    Gram
     
  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    I have my mixed age flock on all purpose poultry crumbles and oyster shell free-choice. I have it in a little cookie tin and screwed to one of the wall's 2 x 4's. I've got it low enough for the chickens to access. So far the younger chickens haven't touched it, maybe they've given it a peck or two but they must have figured out that they don't need it yet. The only reason I know is cause I don't put very much out, since only 18 chickens should be laying right about now, and there's not enough missing if all of them are eating it. Too much calcium at a young age can cause kidney failure and death in chicks, so you're not supposed to put them on any layer feeds until 20-22 weeks of age. Free choice oyster shell should do the trick, I don't think your younger ones will get into it. The older ones should know that they need it. Good luck!
     
  3. oldegger

    oldegger Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2008
    Monclova, OH
    Not so sure 10 week olds are big enough to mix with your older flock.
     
  4. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    Quote:Really???? Huh, wish I'da known that 2 months ago!!! I have 24 week olds, 16 week olds, 13 week olds, and 11 week olds, all in the same coop. I've been mixing new ones in almost every 5 weeks, and the younger bunch went out at 5.5 weeks of age. They're fine, and are now part of the pecking order. Since there were so many of them (added 26 younger ones to a flock of 30 older ones) they were accepted pretty quickly.
     
  5. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I think it depends on the mix of types of chickens and chicks, and the number. I've heard a good rule of thumb is when the chicks are just about as big as the chickens.

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  6. GRAM49

    GRAM49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2008
    Indiana
    Thanks for your comments. The two groups are currently living in the same hen house divided by chicken wire. They are curious about each other and I am anxious to blend them. By Labor Day Weekend the 5 largest will be 24 weeks and the 9 younger will be 10 weeks. I have the food figured out by using Flock Raiser. We just started blending it with what is left of the starter feed. I am not buying any more starter! They are all very active and happy and am hoping to have a well blended flock. I have my oyster shell in the section for the older ones in a half-gallon milk carton I carved out. I can see they peck around in it, but do not deplete it.
     
  7. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:Ours show no interest in oyster shell I only give our chickens some maybe every two weeks or so.
     
  8. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I built a fancy-dancy oyster shell feeder out of PVC, and they don't seem to eat a lot of it.

    I also scatter a couple handfuls in the run, and then they seem to want it.

    Go figure. [​IMG]



    .
     
  9. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Where do people get their oyster shell anyway?

    I found a small packet once at the place I used to get mealworms, but haven't found any since, anywhere.

    Would Agway have it?
     
  10. GRAM49

    GRAM49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2008
    Indiana
    We get oyster shell at a local feed store that sells all animal and bird feeds. Also the local Rural King sells it to, it is like Tractor Supply.
     

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