Should I still add oyster shells with a gravel driveway?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by P-Funk, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    The girls free range all day in a (large) fenced in section of the drive. I've heard oyster shells are good for protien but they peck around in gravel 12 hours a day so is it a waste of money?
  2. Wayne&Kim1963

    Wayne&Kim1963 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Covington, OK
    Oyster shells are good calcium. They are what makes your egg shells and build bones in chickens. So chickens always need to recieve oyster shell.
  3. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I would still have a bowl of oyster shell for them in the coop. They are probably trying for bugs among the gravel driveway, not actually eating the gravel.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Ditto all this....give the OS anyway and you won't have to worry. You'd be amazed at how much of the OS they actually eat.
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    The gravel in the driveway may act as grit to help grind up their food, depending on the size and whether or not they are ingesting it.

    Oyster shell is what is given to add calcium to the diet. You don't have to have it. You can also add calcium by grinding up their clean egg shells and giving those back to them, for example.
  6. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Yay Chicks has it right...grit and oyster shell (or egg shells) are for different purposes...grit helps chickens grind the food in their gizzards, shells provide calcium so it isn't leached out as they use it to make eggshells. Your chickens may not need added grit (sounds like they get it from the driveway ) but they do need calcium, either as oyster shell or as egg shell (I save all my eggshells and dry them, then use a rolling pin to crush them, and provide free choice).
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Each week I feed back the eggs shells to the hens--they love the crushed shells and it's gone in about 2 days. I do keeep OS on hand but haven't put them out yet as I have so many shells.

    ANd they eat the gravel driveway for grit.

    THey get a layer pellet in their coop; 20% gamebird outside; and freerange.
  8. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    Are they getting supplemental layer feed in addition to free ranging all day? If so, they probably dont NEED oyster shell but it wouldn't hurt to make it available to them just in case.
  9. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2011
    I have a gravel driveway that provides grit, and they get ground limestone (all the feed store had). They don't NEED the calcium supplement because they get layer pellets, but I didn't know that when I started. Anyhow, it doesn't seem to hurt them and they do pick at it a little. Their shells are HARD! Doesn't hurt to have it available. I guess it would be handy in case the feed store runs out of layer pellets [​IMG] and it supplements all the table scraps I give them.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  10. dixiebeast

    dixiebeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2011
    Cross Hill SC
    I do not give OS but thats because I cant crack the darn eggs now!!lol...My gals get layer plus veggies and various treats...You should hear how hard I have to whack and egg to crack it!!

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