Should I supplement my hens with oyster shell?


5 Years
Nov 11, 2014
If you are feeding your hens Purina® Layena® or Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 layer feed, you should not need to supplement with oyster shells. These two feeds include Oyster Strong™ System, so the added calcium is included right in the feed.

However, there are a few times when oyster shell supplement should be offered:

- During warm temperatures or if hens have decreased feed consumption: If hens are not eating their entire allotment of complete layer feed, offer oyster shell supplement to ensure they receive the calcium that they need.

- During molt: Hens in molt require higher protein levels and do not need the added calcium. During this annual event, switch your laying hens from a complete layer feed to a high-protein feed, like Purina® Flock Raiser® crumbles. Offer hens a dish of oyster shell. When they prepare to return to laying, they will start eating oyster shell and you can then transition back to a complete layer feed. Once they are finished molting and back to their usual Purina® Layena® or Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 layer feed, you can remove the dish of oyster shell.

- Organic flocks: Purina® Organic layer feed does not include Oyster Strong™ System. However, the amount of calcium in Purina® Organic meets the needs of those birds for strong shells and egg production.

Have you tried a feed that includes Oyster Strong™ System? What results have you seen?


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
The other time you may need to supplement with oyster shell is if they are eating something other than 100% Layer feed. If you feed them treats or they forage for part of their food they may not get enough calcium from the Layer feed since it is not the only thing they eat. it's not about how much is in one bite, it's about how many total grams of calcium they eat in a day. If they are eating something else they may not get enough calcium from the Layer they do eat.

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