Oyster shell with mixed flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by joe the plumber, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. joe the plumber

    joe the plumber New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
    Hi everyone, I have a flock of 12 chickens. My oldest are about 23weeks (five of them) next 18 weeks (four of them) and last 9-10 weeks (three of them). Four of the older ones started laying a few days ago. I have read not to give the shells or oyster to the young ones. I'm not sure what I should do because of the age differences? And if I should give it to them how??

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Continue to feed all the birds grower feed (low calcium). Provide crushed oyster shell in a separate container. They won't eat it if they don't feel the need.
    Most people with mixed flocks use this method and it works quite well.
     
  3. joe the plumber

    joe the plumber New Egg

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    I have been feeding them flock raiser. Is that not a good choice? From the research I have done it seemed OK??
     
  4. Roo Boy

    Roo Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your fine. That is what a lot of folks do, including me. I have oyster shells on the side too.
     
  5. joe the plumber

    joe the plumber New Egg

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    Thanks. What kind of container are you guys/girls using? A small feeder or just a bowl?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I use pint cage cups that hang on the side of the pen.
    You can use anything, they'll find it.
    even a pile in the run will work.
     
  7. Roo Boy

    Roo Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a ceramic bread pan. Its small and heavy so they can not knock it over.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I just toss my oyster shell in the run. It gives the birds something to do, scratching around looking for it. Eating off the ground is pretty natural for a bird, they don't care. I don't keep a steady supply, just when I think of it or notice a thinner shelled egg.

    I feed an all-in-one type feed and add either egg shells or oyster shell. I have birds of various ages and both genders. Everyone eats the egg shells, but only some of the laying hens eat the oyster shell each time. Young birds often pick some up and try it, but they're not interested. My roosters have tried it and also aren't interested, but somehow they understand the hens like it and call the ladies to come eat it!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I feed flock raiser and keep a J feeder(for rabbits) filled with oyster shell hung on the coop wall.
     
  10. joe the plumber

    joe the plumber New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies. One other question is about keeping the oyster shells dry? I have a run that gets pretty wet when it rains hard. Will it hurt and/or mold up like feed can? I have had problems with my feeder getting wet but I got a cone type cover that has stopped the feed inside the feeder getting wet. Do I need to worry about that?

    Thanks again,
    Joe
     

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