Oyster shells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gordonburrito, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    Our Australorp has been going through a lot of changes lately. She got her big girl voice...finally.... after a few weeks of honking like a goose. Her head feathers became a lot thicker last molt and her comb has become much larger and bright red. Yesterday we found her on the deck (where she's not allowed to be, but goes anyway) doing what sounded like an egg song. No eggs of course but we came running at the commotion. Then today after a long and hard rain we went out to check on them. She's our biggest pullet and she's starting to really put the smackdown on the others and asserting her place as #1 chicken. Well we had a good laugh because they ran under a deck chair and she took the "best spot" for shelter under the chair and was the only chicken not wet. I reached down to pick her up to pet her and it looked like she was going to run a way then suddenly to our surprise.....she displayed for me [​IMG]. I was like Edna.... I know we're close but I'm a married man.... I guess they see me as the rooster in a very real way.

    The question is should I go out and get some oyster shell right away or should I wait for the first egg? Right now she lives off a diet of grass, bugs, and chicken feed.... they free range the whole day.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010

  2. Hold off on the oyster shell. You only really need to give it to them if their shells are continually soft. Depending on where you live and what minerals they are getting from the soil that will determine if they need oyster shell or not. Here where we are, in three years, we have never given our girls oyster shell and their egg shells are pretty darn tough. Yes we get an occasional shell-less or soft shelled egg but it is rare and not a continual occurance. You can certainly have oyster shell out for them as free choice but if they are not even laying yet then there is no real need. If your girl is reddening up and starting to squat then I would say you are pretty close to seeing that first egg. With yours free ranging, it is possible that she is already laying in some hidden spot.
  3. zDoc

    zDoc Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Farmington NM
    Quote:[​IMG] I hope someday I can stop laughing [​IMG] that is too funny [​IMG] How embarrasing .....I hope that doesn't happen to me, mine should start laying in the next couple of weeks.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I've had three of my 8 layers squat and display for me. Oh my. A fourth one runs TO me when the rooster is after her. As soon as she passes me, he suddenly loses interest. hehehehehehehe

    (I dunno why he doesn't court that one; he just jumps her. He adores Rebecca and does the wing-drop circle dance for HER. Not Millicent. And Rebecca often just walks away, not submitting to his advances.)

    I keep oyster shell free choice in an empty tuna can nailed to an inside wall of The Big Coop where all the layers currently roost (with the rooster).
  5. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I also keep a little dish of oyster shell off to the side. They will eat it if their body needs it...

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