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Oyster Shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HobbyChickener, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2007
    central KY
    When should I start feeding my chickens oyster shells? Will it matter if the rooster have access to them as well? Also I know feeding them corn is ok, but does it have to be ground? Do I need to be feeding them anything other than corn?
     
  2. andischickenfarm

    andischickenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2007
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    This is what I feed and I've had really good luck with it. I leave out oyster shell and they eat it every once in awhile. Then I mix screened corn chops and layer pellets. You can use layer crumbles, but they will waste more of it. And I use chops instead of whole corn so even some of my bantams and baby chicks can eat it too. Hope this helps and good luck!

    Andi
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Actually, corn is something they should only get occasionally. Corn is way too low in protein as a regular diet. I only use a good 4 or 5 grain scratch for calling them to me or for other training purposes or to give them at roost time in winter to keep them warmer. If you have laying hens, they need either a good all purpose poultry feed plus oyster shell or layer pellets. The rooster probably wont touch the oyster shells; mine doesn't. Don't give them the feed with calcium or oyster shell till they start laying.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  4. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    central KY
    I don't believe that they are old enough to be laying yet, so they don't need shells? I feed starter chicken feed to them now, but i was thinking if they could just eat corn it would be good for me (have 400 acres of it). They all do seem to like the june bugs they get though.
     
  5. andischickenfarm

    andischickenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The reason I feed corn/layer pellet mix, is to get those dark yellow yokes. If you only feed layer pellets, the yolks will be a really pale yellow. I prefer the dark yellow ones myself.[​IMG] But, that's totally up to you. We all have different ways!

    Andi
     
  6. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2007
    central KY
    what exactly are layer pellets? If I tell them at the feed store I want layer pellets will they know or laugh?
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. andischickenfarm

    andischickenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should know. I'm not sure what all is in it, but I think it does have some corn. As I can see some yellow in the pellet. But not enough for me. [​IMG] My friend was getting eggs from her neighbor before she got her own chickens and she said that when she would crack them open that the yoke was so pale that you couldn't hardly tell which was the yoke and which was the egg white! She couldn't eat them. So she asked her neighbor about it and she said she only fed them layer pellets. So me and her both feed a corn mixture. But again, that's totally up to you. Corn is a little higher than pellets around here, but it's well worth it to me.

    Andi
    [​IMG]
     
  8. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2007
    central KY
    so the more corn, the more yellow. however the less healthy food for the bird?
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not only corn will give you those orangey yellow yolks. Greens will, too. My girls freerange and eat grass, weeds, berries, etc. They get the general purpose poultry feeds, layer feed, plus all they find on my property. They get a handful or two of scratch per day, which has corn, plus sunflower seeds and several other grains. The yolks are bright yellow/orange and the whites are very thick.
     
  10. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    The reason corn is not recommended except as a treat is because it is high in carbohydrates and can sometimes make the chickens fat, which can cause problems with laying. It is also considered a hot feed, which may make the birds uncomfortable in the summer months. Because it is lower in protein, it will dilute the protein content you get from the layer pellets.

    However, different situations can affect how your birds respond to what they eat - free ranging adds protein because of the bugs and stuff-grass and other vegetation add different nutrients.

    What works for one flock may not be ideal for another. Andi's formula works for her, but may not be the answer for someone else.

    HobbyChickener
    Speckledhen pretty much hit on the basics. Add oyster shell free choice when the birds start to lay. The rooster won't pay much attention to it. Don't give your chicks only corn. Keep up the starter feed until they are laying age, then switch to layer food. The more experience you gain and the more you observe your flock will determine what works best for them.
     

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