Oyster Shell


8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
Snohomish County, WA
I have been providing oyster shell for my ducks (hens only) since shortly before they started laying. I get Purina Oyster Shell and it's fairly large chunks...seems to me anyway. There never seems to be any gone for the dish. Not sure if it is too large, the one hen I have that is laying doesn't need it, or what? Also, if it is not being eaten, does it need to be dumped and replaced every day like feed? Wouldn't think that would spoiled, or be harmed by getting wet, but not sure. Been dumping it just in case, but wondering if I am wasting it.
I would say you dont need it unless youre having egg (soft shells)or laying problems. That being said it sure doesnt hurt to have it and no you dont need to dump it when wet. It isnt like food that can get wet and moldy and make your birds sick or kill them. The shells are mainly to bump up the calcium levels for harder shells but most foods(layer pellets) have this taken care of. I have sprinkled it on the dirt on occasions when I noticed a soft shell in a pen. A little goes a long way and they seem to eat it only when they need it. Which for me isnt much.
Just leave it sit there in it's separate dish. They will eat it if they need it.

It doesn't spoil. Weather doesn't hurt it, water doesn't hurt it. I'd keep it somewhere that it would not get algae growing on it; if algae will even grow on it. I've never seen it with algae on it.

The pieces tend to be about the size of a slightly flattened green pea. It's larger than grit.

I leave it out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Don't worry about the drakes. If they don't need calcium, they won't eat it.

There is probably calcium in your feed, so the ducks will just use a small bit of oyster shell to top off if they are low. It's cheap, it doesn't spoil, there is no reason to not keep a dish of it sitting available.
I have a little cup maybe 8oz that I keep in a box with the bag of Oyster shell and duck pellets. I give them a cup full every couple of days. I just pour it in the dirt along side their water dish. They dig in it and like to get a little grit or coarse sand with it too. Once a week I will rake it up with the rest of the pen to keep it fresh in there. That's just me though, I have a need for things to be somewhat tidy.

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