1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

sombody told me chickens need oaster shells do they?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by stewy04, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. stewy04

    stewy04 In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2011
    somebody told me my chickens needed oaster shells do they ?

  2. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    when the chickens are ready to lay oyster shells will help to make nice strong shells... you can also offer their own shells back to them .. the added calcium is a bonus for great strong shells..

    eta... some layer feeds have calcium added.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  3. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    First of all [​IMG]

    Now to answer your question, yes, absolutely. If you have chicks that are just starting then they don't need it yet. As soon as they get close to laying, you want to offer oyster shell freely as it provides the necessary calcium needed to produce egg shells. Some people mix it in their food but I have a separate container just for the OS so there isn't competition to get the shells out of the feed. If you prefer not to purchase OS (which is fairly inexpensive for a 50# even here in suburban San Diego) you can bake used eggshells till they are dry, then crush them and give them to your birds. While I have done this so I'm not wasting the shells, with 4 kids running around I usually don't get to it all the time so it's much easier for me to just buy a bag and not worry about it. I have 20 chickens and I only have to get 50# every 6 months or so.
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:It is not a requirement.

    Many people give their laying hens ground oyster shell. It provides extra calcium for shell production, and hard shells.
    If they are getting a layer feed then they are probably getting enough calcium in it.
    Providing the oyster shell is a cheap easy way to supplement the layer feed.

  5. amydzek

    amydzek Chirping

    Oct 27, 2010
    from what I understand they need calcium... I give my girls yogurt and cheese and their favorite treat ever... COTTAGE CHEESE!!! they go nuts over it! I make them a plate with cottage cheese, meat, egg and veggies on it and they love it!
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    I give mine crushed up egg shells about once a week.
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Laying hens need extra calcium. Layer feed is supposed to provide this. Some people give extra calcium, some don't. Personal choice. If they are on layer and laying and your egg shells are ok, I wouldn't worry about it.

  8. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Quote:Come to think of it, you're right. Mine have layer feed and I'll bet some of them don't need the OS as much as the others. I realize my earlier post came off sounding a little firm. Probably due to the fact that my BO prolapsed badly with her first egg because she couldn't get to the OS as easily so that translated in my mind that it was necessary for all of them! I have a mixed flock and some of my eggs are definitely harder shelled than others. So, for my flock I like to have it available if they need it and since I don't know which ones do it gives me peace of mind to just have it out for them.
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    If you chickens are in a run, yes, they'll need some good supply of calcium. But there's more than just Oyster out there. . . Even good greens have a lot of calcium in them. [​IMG]
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member


    Greens, like cleaning up the garden in fall, where the chickens eat broccoli and similar plants will make their shells the hardest of the year. You can barely crack the eggs. Layer feed is complete with all the necessary calcium required. Feeding back crushed egg shells is free.

    Have never bought, used, or needed oyster shells.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by