* Update * on " Cant give oyster shells


8 Years
Sep 12, 2011
Lay hens have started to lay, I have not given any oyster shells or layer pellets.... and the eggs are perfect, none are soft and they are very tasty I must say !! I do give them table scraps some time but they free range all day, but I am soooo happy because I was afraid of getting soft eggs. It really does pay to listen to the old folks... I have a 93 year old cousin, she raised chickens all her life and said she never gave oyster shells and always had perfect eggs and I am glad that I listened! I just wanted to let everyone know how everything was going!
Glad things are going well!

I'll throw in my two cents, too. From what I've read, the calcium used to make egg shells comes out of the hen's bones at some point. She might be fit as a fiddle and lay perfect eggs at the beginning of the laying period, but can show problems after several months of laying nearly every day.

Many plants contain significant amounts of calcium. Assuming your cousin allowed her hens on pasture, they probably did receive all the calcium they needed from foraging. But if you live in an area with different vegetation, you might not match her success.

Personally, my flock and I love oyster shell grit - but only the 50# bag of chopped up shells, not the little bags of compressed powder. It costs about the same as a bag of feed, doesn't go bad, and doesn't attract rodents.

I'm not in the oyster shell business, just giving you something to think about :)

When my chickens were about ready to begin laying I set out a seperate tray of oyster shells and the basically ignored them. I continued to do this for many months while, at the same time to make sure they were getting enough calcium, I gave them back their crushed egg shells and yogurt. Now I do not even bother with the oyster shells because I know they won't eat them, but I am very careful to make sure that they are getting plently of foods that have large amounts of calcium and I continue to give them their crushed eggs shells. So far no problems

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