oyster shell

goldrush

Hatching
7 Years
Sep 7, 2012
8
0
7
I recently started getting quite a few thin shelled eggs from my 3 white leghorns. I have introduced oyster shell free choice but they don't seem to be taking much at all. How long should it take for the extra calcium to harden the shells?. I read conflicting opinions on mixing the shell into their feed but , if I do, at what ratio?
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
They do like some brands of oyster shell better (who knows why) and the size may vary (try pounding some smaller if that helps). The commercial publications recommend around 4-4.5g of calcium per day for a laying hen. I notice the same thing with my older leghorns, a couple of times a week I usually just mix some shells in scrambled eggs etc and feed it to them, it does seem to help... (note these are thin-shelled eggs, not shell-less eggs which seem to be a different problem, from what they say older birds don't utilize calcium as well.)
http://www.poultryindustrycouncil.ca/pdfs/factsheets/fs_133.pdf
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,048
4,100
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I don't know anything about your feeding regiment or the age and health of your birds. Some vitamins like B3 are totally or near totally lacking in many feed formulations. D3 is necessary for hens to convert raw limestone into calcium and incorporate the calcium into bone tissue. Before a hen can use the oyster shell you feed her she must first use it to reinforce her own bones because her bones are the only source of every bit of eggshell she produces.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,900
581
Southern Oregon
How old are your hens? I've found higher production birds (for me it was my red sex links) just get thinner shells as they age, no matter the diet.
 

goldrush

Hatching
7 Years
Sep 7, 2012
8
0
7
Not sure of their age, cast offs from a high school FFA group. They get Purina or Dumours Layer pellets, yogurt occasionally, some scraps, free range on weekends. The oyster shell does look kinda big. I'll crush it up smaller and mix with yogurt.
 

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