Still need oyster shells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Cwittofur, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Cwittofur

    Cwittofur Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    Southern NH
    My girl(s) have been eating their eggs lately. I'm giving them layer pellets mixed with grower crumbles (Don't want to hurt the rooster). They haven't been eating BOSS as much, but they devour apples and what not. I've noticed that they have been throwing their food all over (new feeding mechanism in the future me thinks).

    Anywho, I'm just wondering if it is necessary to get them some crushed oyster shells. I have absolutely no problem doing it, I love my girls (and Curly the cockerel), so, naturally I'll do what it takes [​IMG]

    As a side note, the hen I thought was eating the eggs I separated her from the flock and she wasn't a happy camper, the next day I saw a slime in the coop. I presume either she only laid egg white/yolk or she ate the shell, but I didn't see any evidence of a shell.

    *sigh* These pullets are confusing! (They're about 6 months old now all of them).

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The grower won't give them enough calcium, so yes you need oyster shells. If you are feeding all layer then I would still recommend having some oyster shells for them because they might want extra.

    You might want to look into a rollaway nest.

    They occasionally will lay an egg without a shell and yes it does get eaten. If you have ONE (but not the whole flock) doing it all the time it might be an issue of not enough calcium, or not.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  3. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    First of all, if your girls are laying they should get straight layer ration. I wouldn't worry about the rooster, he'll do just fine on layer. Yes I would provide oyster shell. My birds free range, but I notice that at this time of year they eat a LOT more. I figure they were getting most of their dietary needs in insects, baby snakes, snails etc, and now the buffet has really slowed down. Plus they use more energy in cold weather.

    I don't like to keep 2 kinds of feed - I only have 9 birds and in summer they barely eat it fast enough to keep it from spoiling.
  4. Cwittofur

    Cwittofur Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    Southern NH
    Ok I'll give them layer feed once they eat all of the mixture [​IMG]
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    remember that if you provide oyster shells - free choice - they will eat the oyster shells if they need/want them and ignore them if they don't. Oyster shells are pretty inexpensive. if you put them in a separate cage cup to feed, you will always know exactly how much they have available. Another thing to consider is to feed back their own is a wonderful source of calcium for your chooks.

    It is a good idea to put 1 Tablespoon per gallon of Apple Cider Vinegar in the chickens water, because it helps them to absorb the calcium - (I suppose partly depending on the pH of the water that you provide them). They also need vitamin D3 for good eggshells. Most likely that vitamin will be provided in your feed mix.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  6. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    When feeding my egg shells back to my girls, I cook them first. I don't have a microwave, but you could even put the shells in the micro or in a toaster oven. I then like to crumble them down and put them in their feed containers or scramble them up with an egg.... but not in a nonstick pan, because the broken shells scratch the pan.

    I do that so they don't know what they're eating. I don't want them to get into the habit of eating their own eggs because they associate eggs with a food source, yanno?
  7. Cwittofur

    Cwittofur Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    Southern NH
    I put oyster shells in their coop they didn't really eat much of it *shrugs* They're not eating the entire egg either and the shells from the remnants are very firm, which is making me doubt the fact that there is a calcium deficiency. Hopefully I'll know in a few days if the oyster shells are helping [​IMG]

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