You can lead a duck to oyster shells...

Jlw0903

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
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...but how do i get them to eat it? Well one in particular. Onw of my Roens, SweetPea has been laying either thin shelled or softshell/shell less eggs. I am assuming it is because shes not getting enough calcium. Though shes also gotten into this odd habit of laying her eggs in the evening which is weird.

Anyways. I feed them an all flock feed since I didnt want to give them Layer feed and risk causing harm to my drake. I have regular grit out that none of them ever touch and a bowl of oyster shells out with their food all day. The others are laying normal eggs. Not sure what is up with SweetPea if its a health issue or just not getting enough calcium. Maybe putting treats directly into the calcuim bowl? Or putting oyster shells in with the food??

Not sure the best option is since until recently ive never had problems with her eggs and this is the second year they have been laying.
 

CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
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Can you take out the containers of grit and oyster shells and bring them back in after a couple days. Also give them treats at the same time as bringing them back into their area, maybe they will think they are also related to the treat.
 

HeatherKellyB

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May 31, 2019
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How old is she? My 2 year old Pekin has been laying soft shelled eggs too and actually had one egg that broke on its way out. I was worried sick! I've been giving her calcium citrate (human Citracal) until she lays a nicely shelled egg with calcium bumps/pimples on it. The heat seems to be taking its toll on my Honey Boo Boo or at least I suspect that's part of the problem. I had to start her on calcium citrate again tonight after finding a broken soft shelled egg in their run. I'm sure it's more difficult to lay a soft shelled egg/contract muscles to move a soft shelled egg, so getting them hard again should help. At least this has been my experience
 

Crazy Maizie

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2020
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Could be heat or stress - or a reproductive issue. I have multiple containers of oyster shell mixed with dried egg shell. I also sprinkle some on the ground (but have muscovy and they will pick it up off the ground). When I notice soft egg shells, I add a supplement with vitamin d3 plus calcium. Vitamin d3 helps them to absorb the calcium better. I use a generic version of citracal. I crush it up and add it to the containers of oyster shell.
Grit is for the gizzard to help digest food. During the warmer months poultry get grit from the dirt and soil. So, I don't worry about grit as much except when the ground is frozen.

I also feed mealworms or black soldier fly larva which is high in calcium.
Recently, I found an aragonite calcium supplement (via chewy) and have also been adding it to my containers.

Screenshot_20210719-230528_Brave.jpg
 

Quatie

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Oct 16, 2020
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I have one duck, my Pekin, who will not eat oyster shells. All my other ducks do. I have put meal worms in with the oyster shells. She knows they are there and still will not eat them. For her, I give her layer feed about once a day, sometimes less. She knows the sound of the food shaking in the bowl and comes running over. She and some of my other females eat some for about a few minutes. Not everyone wants it everytime. I can shoo the young ones away. When they loose interest, I put it away. During the winter I didn't find she needed layer feed, so I don't feed it to her then. Otherwise this stubborn Pekin girl will not eat it when she needs to. That was my solution.
 

Jlw0903

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
216
369
151
Can you take out the containers of grit and oyster shells and bring them back in after a couple days. Also give them treats at the same time as bringing them back into their area, maybe they will think they are also related to the treat.
That might be a goof idea. Make them interesting again.
 

Jlw0903

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
216
369
151
Could be heat or stress - or a reproductive issue. I have multiple containers of oyster shell mixed with dried egg shell. I also sprinkle some on the ground (but have muscovy and they will pick it up off the ground). When I notice soft egg shells, I add a supplement with vitamin d3 plus calcium. Vitamin d3 helps them to absorb the calcium better. I use a generic version of citracal. I crush it up and add it to the containers of oyster shell.
Grit is for the gizzard to help digest food. During the warmer months poultry get grit from the dirt and soil. So, I don't worry about grit as much except when the ground is frozen.

I also feed mealworms or black soldier fly larva which is high in calcium.
Recently, I found an aragonite calcium supplement (via chewy) and have also been adding it to my containers.

View attachment 2766633
Ill look into the D3 for sure. I have a huge bag of meal worms actually. Didnt knoe they had a high calcium content. I usually limit what i give them of those but i could easily increase the mealworms they get
 

Isadora

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Mar 29, 2021
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I temporarily added the oyster shell right to the food so my girls got used to eating it. After a couple of weeks, I saw them eating out of the separate oyster shell container so there was no need to add it directly to the feed anymore.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
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There are two main kinds of oyster shells. The white kind (looks like little white rocks) and the grey shaved kind that looks like actual oyster shell. Both are just called oyster shells. My own ducks are picky snobs and refuse to eat the white kind. Other members have experienced the same. You might try another kind than you have been offering and toss some treats on top daily for a few weeks.

At one point I purchased calcium powder, specifically for birds, and dusted mealworms with them. Think shake and bake. They gobbled the mealworms right up. This was before I figured out that they thought white oyster shells were horrible and grey oyster shells are AMAZING!
 

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