1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Oyster Shells and Grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MyRedStarz, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. MyRedStarz

    MyRedStarz In the Brooder

    May 29, 2011
    Hi...Chicken Novice here! [​IMG]

    I have 3 Red Star Hens, 16 weeks old. i know they will be laying very soon and my question is, once i start them on Oyster shells, should i continue giving Grit too or will the Shells do the job? Thanks for your response in advance!

  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Unless there is no sand/pebbles in thier run, you should be ok not giving grit. The shells dissolve and that's how they make eggshells.
  3. Kimmiejean

    Kimmiejean In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2011
    I'm a newbie, but my understanding is the oyster shells DO NOT take the place of grit. Oyster shells are only provided to assist in egg production. Does that make sense??? [​IMG]
  4. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    do they free range, if so they are getting grit, and eat it when they need it, is my understanding.
    I have 16 pullets, ranging from 16-18 weeks, no eggs yet, but soon! I will be giving them oyster shell on the side, they will
    eat it when they need it. (at least that is what I get from all these posts)
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I free range my chickens but still offer both oyster shell and grit. I think sometimes they can't find large enough grit by free ranging. This way i am sure they are getting what they need. Grit is cheap.
  6. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chirping

    Jul 21, 2011
    Clackamas, Oregon
    Does anyone have an opinion or knowledge about different types of grit? I have oyster shell and grit available for the hens, but the last time I went to buy grit they were out of cherry stone and only had limestone. A little googling tells me that perhaps the limestone isn't strong enough, and it more of a calcium source? I'm sure they'll be fine and I'll use it until I'm out, but I was just curious as to the experience of others'. thanks!
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    I don't give my girls grit or oyster shells. I feed them Purina Layena and have never had a problem with it. I have had a few rubber membrane eggs. I do add to their feed if I crack an egg and it feels brittle, usually in the late winter early spring when their starting to lay again. I also didn't know there was different types. Goes to show you can learn things you didn't know here at BYC.

  8. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Quote:When do you advise a good time to start the Purina Layena and oyster shell? I've got 4 month old girls and I'm not sure when to switch over. Thanks!
  9. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Quote:Most commercial grit is granite. The limestone is a calcium source and some feeds have it in there as such. Our organic feed has it in as the calcium component in the layer feed.

    I always put grit and oyster shell out free choice even though they can get enough grit and calcium from the little bit of free ranging they do and their feed. They will eat it if they do not have enough of each from those other sources. The grit used to go really fast but now they are using less, and the oyster shell they rarely touch, but it is there if they need it.

    Always try to use granite grit as it is really hard and sharp edged. Soft rock will not grind the food up well enough for proper nutrition and digestion. That is why limestone, shale/slate, oyster shell and the like are not all that good.
  10. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chirping

    Jul 21, 2011
    Clackamas, Oregon
    Thanks ChickenAl!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by