1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Shells are tough - do I need to supplement oyster shell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NickyPick, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

    672
    34
    151
    Sep 18, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    I've been getting mini to small eggs from Topaz & Jade for a 2 weeks now and I think Peridot has just started (another mini dark green egg started showing up). When I got up to 8, I decided to crack them open and scramble them up for the chickens bed time treat. Man - I dropped one on the floor and it just got a dent. I know if I had dropped an Eggland's Best egg, it would have splattered! I had to really crack these little green eggs hard to get them to open. So, do I really need to supplement with oyster shell or does it sound like they're getting enough calcium already? They were getting Purina Flock Raiser until I started getting eggs, then I switched to Layena. They get scambled/boiled eggs about 3-4 times a week as a bed time treat, otherwise, we alternate with meal worms, fruits, oatmeal and pasta.
     
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,286
    25
    193
    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Sounds like they're getting enough calcium already. But it wouldn't hurt to give them a separate dish of oyster grit. That way it's there if they want it. And of course it's better to keep them topped up with calcium rather than waiting till they start laying soft eggs...

    Just about ALL home-made eggs are way tougher than shop-bought ones. When I started giving eggs to my dad he was cracking them three or four times on the edge of the pan to get them to break open. Shop eggs are really flimsy, probably because intensive egg farming isn't very nice for the birds and they don't really have a great environment or diet...
     
  3. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    IF they are getting enough calcium, that's how the shells should be. As far as if there is a real need? Lack of calcium can arise at any time. We keep free choice oyster shells available to them all times, and chickens are pretty good at taking it when they need it. It's not that expensive. I just sprinkle a bunch around the run and let them take when they want. It's been a couple months and I haven't finished the whole first little bag.
     
  4. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    I'd say they are getting enough already if their shells are that tough...maybe too much? Not exactly sure, I'm relatively new to this chicken stuff even though I was around chickens my whole childhood. Anyway, I always thought and was told that you supplemented the oyster shell to help them produce/maintain strong shells. Hopefully somebody more experienced will reply.....those sound like some real tough eggs!![​IMG]
     
  5. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    You WANT the shells to be that tough. EB eggs are not the same as your own fresh eggs. Fresh eggs are way harder to break and that's a good thing.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by