Two Questions Which Need to be Answered

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chicken_Lover4567, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Chicken_Lover4567

    Chicken_Lover4567 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
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    Ok. Question 1:
    Should scratch be a daily thing, or only occasionally? Right now in Texas it gets pretty cold, and my girls are about 14 weeks old.
    Question 2:
    When should I start feeding them oyster shells? Once I find the first egg, or at a certain age?
     
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    1. Treat it like you would sweets for children. Good for a treat but not a meal.

    2. Offer oyster after first egg.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  3. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    central Vermont
    I think the grit (oyster shell) issue depends on what the chicks are eating. When ours began having access to other foods or treats besides grower pellets, I made oyster shell available to them, and they've been eating it and doing fine.
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Actually grit and oyster shell are two totally different things.

    Grit is used to help chickens 'chew' their food. They should be offered free choice grit unless they have daily access to the dirt ground. They can get grit through pieces of sand or very small pebbles.

    Oyster shell is to help with calcium to give their eggs a hard shell. They should be offered oyster shell free choice once they start laying eggs.
     
  5. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that's interesting! Our feed store told us the oyster shell WAS grit - now I'll have to go back there and "have a chat". But I wonder why our girls have done fine through the yrs...maybe because generally they're free range, except for the younger pullets. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Feed stores are notorious for giving bad advice. What Chirpy says is true. I don't offer grit. Mine free-range and find plenty on their own. I do offer oyster shell to help the girls replace the calcium they are putting into their eggs.
     
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I wonder why our girls have done fine through the yrs...maybe because generally they're free range

    Yes, if they free range they don't ever need grit. They'll get all they need from the ground.


    It's been surprising to me how many people here have said that their feed store doesn't know the difference between grit and oyster shell... even that there is a difference.​
     
  8. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So for our younger pullets who are only in an enclosed run for their outdoor experience (at this time, until we mix the flocks), we should be adding some grit for them so they can process the garden goodies we share. That's good to know - many thanks! The funny part is, the guy at the feed store was raising his own flock of layers [​IMG]
     
  9. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you free range and have a gravel drive way the chickens will make there way to it and get there grit.
     
  10. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll need to move some handfuls of the abandoned driveway gravel from across the road into the chicken run. (It's had a few years for rain to wash away engine oil.)
     

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