Question about shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kyle7630, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    I have read several times on here that if you put some ground oyster shells in the feed, it will help the hens produce a better shell on the eggs they lay. My question is this; will ground fresh water muscle shells provide the same advantage or similar results? My son has been bringing these shells home every time we swim at the lake near our house. The bank is littered with them. Is this a good freebee?
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, bivalve calcium carbonate is all pretty much the same [​IMG] long as you're not concerned about the possibility of contaminants (e.g. heavy metals) built up in the mussel shells. There is of course no absolute guarantee of what's in the feedstore oystershell either, but if your mussels are within a couple hundred miles downstream of a WHOLE lotta agricultural runoff or something scary going into the water, you might think about it. I know zebra mussels in the great lakes have considerable heavy-metal contamination in their flesh (dunno about the shell, but given that heavy metals sometimes behave similar to calcium in the body, I would think it *possible*).

    Have fun,

  3. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I agree with patandchickens.... I would be worried about contaminants.

    We don't put the oyster shell IN the feed. We put it in a separate area. That way the roo isn't wasting a bunch of feed trying to avoid the oyster shell and the ladies only eat what they need. So there is less waste on the oyster shell too.
  4. Michigan Chickman

    Michigan Chickman Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    SW Michigan
    50# of oyster shell is pretty reasonable, I think I paid like $5-$6 for mine and even with 34 birds, it seems it will last a longggggg time. I'd feel better spending the money than risking a contaminate that may get passed into my eggs.

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    I woud also be worried about diseases being passed on from other birds pooping in the beach...

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