question on free choices


12 Years
Oct 16, 2010
can i mix the free choiced together? i have limited space in my run. can oyster shells, grit and pork and bone be mixed together? also , can i put them up in the coop for when they are closed up at nite? they seem to be pecking at eachother, and they do spend a good part of the day up there on their own free will. i guess, where would be the best place to put it.
The thing about mixing things together is the chickens rake out what they don't want at the time to peck up what they do want. It can be wasteful. For my own personal choice I don't supply oyster shells, I did prior to first eggs, since then I save the shells and sterilize them in oven, break them down with a rolling pin then mix back into feed.
i am thinking up a plan to keep all in the screwing it to a board so it cant be tipped over.
I don't mix oyster shell and grit with each other or with their food. I don't feed pork bone. How do they know how much of each to eat if it is all mixed together? I let mine regulate how much of each they eat.

You can put it either in the coop or run, whichever is easiest for you. I put oyster shell in a small cup wired to the side of the run. With mine, a little bit lasts a long time, but they do eventually eat it. Mine free range so they find their own grit.

I would not put it up on the roosts. It is not that available up there for all of them.

If some of yours are spending a lot of time on the roosts during the day and with the pecking you mentioned, I suspect some are being bullied and they are spending most of the time on the roost to get away from the bullies. Young chickens especially will do that to stay away from the older chickens that bully them. Hens will sometimes do that to stay away from an over-eager rooster. Them being too crowded can cause that behavior. And sometime you just have a bully, no matter how you are set up or how much space they have. I don't know the particulars of your situation, how you are set up, or how much room you have, but you might want to set up two feeding and watering stations, one in the coop and one on the run maybe, to give the ones being bullied a better chance to eat and drink. If it were not for the pecking you mentioned, I'd also say that that some just like to chill out on the roosts, enjoying the company of their friends.

Good luck!!
i have mixed oyster shell and granite grit together for yrs. i have two coops, two solid bottom rabbit feeders. that hook on outside of wire fence inside of barn. the lip of feeder sticks past fence into coop. i keep both full of the granite grit and oyster shell at all times. the hens can self feed themselves the grit and shell, when they feel the need.

as for my fowl that are individual brood pens. on rare occasions i will mix a little of the two in thier feed. they eat what they want of it. and leave the rest. in the bottom of their feed cups you may see a few pieces of shell or grit. after a number of days they will consume them. but its up to them, when they want it,,,its there.
I use these in the coop for oyster shell:


Cost like $3 and change at the co-op and take up very little room attached to the wall of the coop.

I don't offer grit, since my birds free range.

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