What is Oyster Shell? Plus Feed Questions...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LilDucky85, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    I'm new to this whole poultry thing. April 12, 2009 through just after midnight on April 14, 2009 my ducks hatched. I expected them on April 16th but one started coming as early as April 12th, Easter day!

    I started them on non-medicated Poultry Starter, but in June changed them to Meat Producer- Poultry Feed. I actually just had to go look outside. I thought it was Poultry Layer Feed but I guess I got this one this time? Anyway, lately I've been reading a lot on here about Oyster Shell? What is this, and should I be giving it to my ducks? Im assuming it makes the shells hard and provides calcium? What should my ducks be eating now? In addition to their feed they always have fruit and veggies too. Should I change them to layer feed? They havent started laying yet but from what I've read it can be any day now right? Im not expecting a good looking egg to start out, but the sign of one before fall would be exciting. This will be my first egg ever! So far 2 are boys, and the others are without a drake feather so 4 girls!

    Like I said Im new to this so all adivice is helpful!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I offer a bowl of oyster shells separate from their food. Since I have a drake, I don't want him to get too much calcium. This way the girls can take what need when they need it and Tweak doesn't get kidney stones.
     
  3. jacyjones

    jacyjones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aberystwyth, Wales
    I offer oyster shell in a separate bowl and my female ducks eat a lot. If they don't have it when they are laying then they use the calcium in their bodies which is bad for them.
    I would have layer pellets ready for when they start to lay. I would think you should be getting near the time so feed as you are but change when they start. You will get small eggs to start with but they soon get to be full size and delicious. Enjoy!!
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    As far as WHAT oyster shell is (as in your post title) it's exactly that, oyster shells that are fairly crushed up but not pulverized, and must be somewhat washed too because they don't smell at all. It's quite inexpensive and can usually be found at feed stores where you buy your normal feed.

    They probably get it as a waste product at food processing plants and then process it more (wash/crush) for feed, and even yard/landscaping purposes. [​IMG]
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Yeah..in Florida they use it for driveways.
     
  6. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    Thank you, I pretty much knew what it is, but I didn't know how or if to use it. How necessary is it? Are there any other good forms of calcium?

    Also, what is the difference between layer pellets and crumbles? All the feed I have come across has only been crumbles, or a seed mix. I fed them Chicken Food once (from Walmart) because the feed store was closed when I got there and its kinda far away. They needed something so I figured that would work. They were much younger at this time and didn't like it much. There was more on the ground than in their tummies most of the time. It was made of seeds, corn, and other stuff. This leads to another question, the guy at the feed store said he feeds his ducks cracked corn? I've been against this because I cant imagine it going down good or digesting? Can they eat this as their main food?
     
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:They should not be fed only corn for their diet, some people will supplement their regular feed with cracked corn to cut down on the feed cost, it also cuts down on the quality of the ration
     
  8. jacyjones

    jacyjones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Corn is a treat not a food. You need to feed proper pellets as they are balanced and contain everything your ducks need to lay eggs and be healthy.
     

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