the oyster shell experiment = FAIL!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by technodoll, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I try setting out oyster shell containers for the girls but they keep getting knocked over, stepped in and scattered in the bedding. Before drilling a setup in the walls for something spill-proof, I mixed a bit in with their layer food yesterday and it all got eaten well enough.

    Today? 3 out of 6 eggs had gritty sandpaper shells!

    All had been laying perfect eggs to date with lovely smooth hard shells.

    So, I guess my flock doesn't need any extra calcium! [​IMG]

    Has this happened to anyone else?
     
  2. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Morrow, AR
    I put out cups of oyster shell out a few days ago for my girls. I took small 8 oz heavy plastic cups and screwed one a few inches off of the ground into the wall of each pen with a washer around the screw for added strength. I filled them most of the way with the oyster shell. All had an inch or so gone the next day and I'm not noticing much of a drop now at all. I didn't think about it, but a few on my Penedesenca eggs were gritty the last few days, where the pencil caught badly writing PP or WP on them [​IMG]:) I didn't even think about the oyster shell...hmmm. I'm putting those in the incubator tomorrow, so I guess we'll see in about 22-23 days. My birds are all on game bird starter/breeder, which is only 3% Calcium.
     
  3. aushepherd

    aushepherd New Egg

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    I did this when I hatched pheasants. Most of the eggs were too tough for the peeps to break out of. The gritty layer is excess calcium. Feed suppliment once a month in minute amounts. If your chickens are scratching at the ground all the time, they are looking for something. That's when I feed calcium. Although grit contains small amounts of calcium, it really only need to be given when you are feeding whole corn. Otherwise, stick with oyster shells. Feed smaller amounts than directed. Those instructions are based on mass produced eggs. We are not in it to make a huge profit from eggs. If your chicken doesn't lay an egg everyday, no big deal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  4. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    zactly - the eggs are a giant bonus but not the main reason i'm keeping a small flock!

    got 5 eggs today, 4 of which are smmooooooth.

    i'm going to feed grit very, very sparingly from now on!
     
  5. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Utah
    Quote:That's good to know, we don't mix it in with the feed and have a separate container. Guess we'll keep it that way. That's for sharing your experiment with us!
     
  6. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    I 'depend' on the girls to know what they need for calcium intake....I always have layer feed out for them, they get some BOSS every day as a treat and then some fruit, vegetable, greens daily. They get occasional treats of cracked corn, corn on the cob, oatmeal, yoghurt, cottage cheese. IThis will be my first winter with chickens, it will be interesting to see how much more feed they will need when they can't forage in the yard. I have a small wallmounted feeder with grit out and also one with crushed oyster shell. They get an hour a day free yard time, 2-3 days a week several hours. The pop door to the run is open all day. So far I have never had a soft shelled or gritty shelled egg.
     
  7. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed kent multi flock and hang a tiny bucket with oyster shell in it. Some eat it some don't all shells have been smooth.
     
  8. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I offer mine oyster shell in a hanging feeder. If the girls need it they will eat it, if they don't they won't. When you first start offering oyster shell you have to remember their bodies have to adjust to the sudden surge of calcium now entering their systems. After a few days their bodies will adjust and the shells will be smooth again. Mine go weeks and don't touch it, then all of a sudden there will be a few gathered around the feeder eating it.

    Marty
     
  9. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quebec, Canada
    good to know, thanks!

    I'll nail a plastic container to the wall of the coop and let them eat what they want, that should work right? [​IMG]
     
  10. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Morrow, AR
    Yes, it should [​IMG] Now that mine have had it available a little while, the eggs are fine again.
     

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