Typical layer feed is around 4% calcium, which is an average amount a laying hen needs for good eggshells. Obviously with averages, some need more than average, (and some less, which is why I dilute down the calcium), which is where the oyster shell/eggshell come in.Question: I've always read that oyster shell (calcium) should be offered free choice and not mixed with feed. So what's the deal with 'layer feed' that has extra calcium?
Question: Can I stay on regular feed for them and is there any advantage to doing that as opposed to switching to layer?
Yes you can stay with a non-layer formulation and continue supplementing calcium on the side. Advantage I suppose is using a feed that you're already satisfied with, generally higher protein levels (most layer is 16%), and as previously mentioned, some layers don't need 4% calcium.