Frequently Asked Questions for 'Newbies'

by K.J.Theodore of  Shagbark Bantams

These pages were designed to help out the beginners and Juniors who are just starting out. For more advanced questions, please visit 'FAQs for the experienced Poultry Fanciers'. New questions will be added to both FAQ pages as I see a trend of their frequency. Additional contributors are identified when used. Please visit their websites when links are provided.

Oyster Shell

 

When should I start my pullets on oyster shell?

 
Oyster shell should never be given to young pullets before egg production since calcium overdose may cause kidney damage. Only hens in production should be provided a calcium supplement such as oyster shell, and even then there is some debate on how much. If you feel small 'bumps' on the surface of your hens' eggs, then they are probably getting too much. If they free-range, they probably don't need it since they'll pick up what they need naturally. However, if they are pen or cage raised, then providing a pinch of oyster shell once a week would be advised. Too little calcium in a producing hen's diet will cause her to steal calcium from her own bones to make up for the deficiency. Free-feed oyster shell should be fine for adult hens under any circumstances, provided that you don't have a 'guzzler'.
 

Link to article on Toxins.

     

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