Oyster Shells and Grit for Layers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TyWilk18, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. TyWilk18

    TyWilk18 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2012
    Is it necessary to have crushed oysters shells for my layers? If so where do i get them? Also, if they are in a 25 by 36 run with weeds, worms, dirt, rocks, pebbles etc. is it necessary to have grit in their diets? Layer Hens for selling eggs not meat or chick production
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    If you are feeding them layer mash/pellets you don't have to feed them oyster shell as well. They will get enough calcium from the layer food. If they can scratch in the dirt and have access to soil, small stones etc they'll get enough grit from that.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You probably don't need to supply grit on that kind of ground. If they are on layer feed, supposedly they get enough calcium from the feed. I buy oyster shell at TSC, maybe $8 a bag, maybe once or twice a year for 9 chickens. They do eat some of it it and I do get a soft shelled egg once in a while, so I'm reluctant to stop. But you may never have a problem if you don't offer it.

    Lots of people feed the egg shells back to the chickens as a calcium source rather than buy another product. I doubt it matters if you cook the bit of egg left on them, but personally I'd crush them well if I did this. You might also consider whether you ever give table scraps, kitchen scraps or treats that would add some calcium.
  4. Doubleyolker

    Doubleyolker Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2012
    My thoughts...... I offer os and grit along with what ever they find in their run and when they are free ranging in the yard. They know better than I do what they need. Doesn't take much to provide two containers. I bought a huge bag of os for very little which I keep in a sealed storage contaner. It should lastfor a long time
  5. FenikT

    FenikT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2012
    I just save their egg shells in the freezer until I get enough to lay out on a couple baking sheets. Heat on 400 deg for 10-15 minutes until brittle (and any remaining white/yolk is cooked through). Crush in a big mixing bowl and toss back into their run.
  6. TyWilk18

    TyWilk18 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2012
    Great thank you!
  7. WestVermont

    WestVermont Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2012
    Bennington, Vermont
    OS and Grit are good free choice items. Once my new coop is up I will be supplying these along with flax seed as free choice items and like us if they feel they need a little extra they can help themselves. Both items you can get from your local feed store.
  8. RoosterMoose

    RoosterMoose Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2013
    Missouri Ozarks
    I dot worry about Oyster shells.... Just throw crushed egg shells back at em after I save em up. As for grit, it wouldn't hurt to throw some on their run every coupe of months. They will get a chance to scratch for it the way a chicken is meant to look for grit.

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