Yummy oyster shell

Sunshade82

In the Brooder
Sep 10, 2020
36
51
46
SW Utah
Hi all,
My ladies just turned 18 weeks so I started adding in a bowl of oyster shell near their feed since the package said to 😆
I’ve read they will eat only when/how much they need...but mine completely empty the bowl in a short amount of time.
nobody is laying yet, but I assume my Austra white and barred rock are getting close. Both have red combs/wattles and someone has been poking around in the nest box.
My question is...will they/can they consume too much oyster shell? If I’m giving them all flock feed, how much oyster shell should an almost laying hen eat a day?
 

SabongStuff

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
68
198
76
Are you sure they aren’t picking it out of the bowl and laying it somewhere else?

That’s what my girls do
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
927
2,483
191
SC, Low Country
It was probably just them excited about a novelty and gorged out. I wouldn't worry about offering it to them until you see the 1st egg. But once you have it available all the time the novelty will wear out and they should regulate themselves and eat when necessary.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,748
3,772
281
Wisconsin
I agree, it is something new and exciting.
I rarely put out oyster shells. I only put out oyster shells if I have some chicks in the coop because the entire flock would the eat starter feed.
 

Sunshade82

In the Brooder
Sep 10, 2020
36
51
46
SW Utah
How much is in the bowl?

I put 5lb in a feeder about 3 weeks ago and I've seen them pecking at it, the A 4 have hardly put a dent in it.
It was about a cup. They all gathered around and ate it like it was a cup of scratch. Next thing the following day.
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
927
2,483
191
SC, Low Country
I agree, it is something new and exciting.
I rarely put out oyster shells. I only put out oyster shells if I have some chicks in the coop because the entire flock would the eat starter feed.
I never put it out because the laying feed mine have is balanced enough. Now my my silkies only eat all flock and their shells are always solid so if it'snot broke I won't fix it.
 

Sunshade82

In the Brooder
Sep 10, 2020
36
51
46
SW Utah
It was probably just them excited about a novelty and gorged out. I wouldn't worry about offering it to them until you see the 1st egg. But once you have it available all the time the novelty will wear out and they should regulate themselves and eat when necessary.
That makes sense. I wish they showed the same excitement for leftover peas I threw in the run 😆
I’ll hold off til they start laying
 

Sunshade82

In the Brooder
Sep 10, 2020
36
51
46
SW Utah
I never put it out because the laying feed mine have is balanced enough. Now my my silkies only eat all flock and their shells are always solid so if it'snot broke I won't fix it.
I kinda wanted them to regulate their own calcium so that’s why I put them on all flock. I’ll wait til they start laying and see if the oyster shell is even needed
 

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