still trying to understand oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by iPeanut1990, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. iPeanut1990

    iPeanut1990 Chirping

    May 7, 2014
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    My chickies are only 10 weeks old this week so I know they don't need it yet but I'm still confused on oyster shell. I know they won't need it for at least another 6+ weeks but is it better to give it to them as an "insurance policy" type thing or wait until they need it? What age should I start introducing it? Just before they start laying? How do I know if they're getting enough? Do you throw it on the ground or put it in a bowl like I have my grit?

    Also what age should I unblock the nesting boxes or should I wait until they start laying?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  2. aquagolda

    aquagolda Chirping

    Apr 27, 2013
    New Jersey
    im giving it to my 15 week old chick along with 8 week chicks
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Oyster shell is for calcium, birds will eat it when they require it. I only put it out after the first egg, young birds not laying do not need it at all only birds whom are laying, i keep it in a bowl in the coop, i never force it to the birds, it's completely free choice.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Generally, you put it out when the pullets begin laying or you suspect they are about to do so. If you have a mixed flock of youngsters and adults, a small feeder on the wall just for oyster shell will suffice. Just hang it so only the adults, or near-adults, can reach it. The youngsters may eat some but probably won't eat much of it, not enough to do harm.

    If you have only youngsters, they do not need oyster shell at all. That is for laying hens only.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

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