Young pullets eating oyster shells

jwlee

Chirping
Aug 8, 2020
55
166
76
Portland, OR
I have three 18 week old and three 14 week old pullets. The 18 week olds haven’t started laying yet but I put some oyster shells out for them so they can eat it if they want it. However it seems like all the girls are eating them like treats. Should I take it away? Right now they’re all on grower feed.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
23,667
179,083
1,592
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
I have three 18 week old and three 14 week old pullets. The 18 week olds haven’t started laying yet but I put some oyster shells out for them so they can eat it if they want it. However it seems like all the girls are eating them like treats. Should I take it away? Right now they’re all on grower feed.
Keep it out. The novelty will wear off soon enough.
I would keep the flock on All Flock, Flock Raiser or a starter with 18-20% protein for life and never switch them to layer mix. I've never fed layer and never will. I don't feel that 16% protein is adequate for optimal nutrition.
 

U_Stormcrow

Songster
Jun 7, 2020
513
929
176
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I feed all flock - well, now I'm mixing my own from the options offered by a local mill, but its essentially all flock. and free choice oyster shell.

When I put it down, all the birds tried it. Quickly, most stopped eating it. Now, only the few currently laying eat it (and one who should, doesn't. Stupid duck)

Leave your oyster shell available to the flock, free choice. Your birds that need it will get the craving and go for it - the birds that don't won't eat so much that it causes problems for them.
 

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