Can Ducks Have Oyster Shells?

Oyster shell: If your laying ducks are eating a high-quality laying ration, oyster shell is typically not required. Consider adding crushed oyster shell to your ducks’ food if they continue to lay eggs with pits or thin shells while eating a healthy diet.


Every time they lay an egg, they use calcium that has been stored in their bodies. Oyster shell aids in replenishing that. It won’t induce them to lie. They seem to intuitively know when to eat it. My ducks never touched the oyster shells in their bowl when they weren’t nesting. Additionally, the drake never touches it. They eat it now that they lay every day. They are intuitive.

What You Should Feed Your Ducks, The Right Stuff

Ducklings that have just hatched require a formula that is high in protein (18 to 20 percent) and contains well-balanced amino acids. Add 5 to 7 pounds of brewer’s yeast per 100 pounds of chick feed to increase the niacin content. Keep the ducks on this initial diet because they will need a high-protein diet for the rest of their lives.

However, hens raised for egg production live longer if they aren’t forced to grow to their full potential, so around 9 weeks, transfer them to a lower-protein (14 percent) maintenance feed. Cut the maintenance feed with uncooked oatmeal or oats while progressively increasing the volume share of oats from 5% to 25%. A chicken layer feed should be added to improve calcium when the hens are laying. Cracked corn can be added as a supplement in the winter to help layer and meat ducks get the extra calories they need to stay warm.

Due to the lack of teeth and reliance on their gizzards to grind food, ducks need a constant supply of granite grit. For ducklings, use grit the size of a chick; for adults, use grit the size of a chicken. Laying hens have access to an additional calcium supply in the form of crushed oyster shells. (Provide the bird with both the oyster and granite shells so it may decide which one it needs.)

All domesticated breeds, with the exception of Muscovys, are dabblers; as they eat, they dip their beaks into water to simultaneously swallow and sip. Even the largest chick waterers won’t be deep enough to allow adult ducks to engage in dabbling behavior. Small chick waterers are fine for young ducklings. Instead, give them a deep dish or shallow bucket. Drinking water that has been contaminated by dabbling must be changed at least once daily.

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– Gravel and Sand

The food of young ducklings should include some gravel or coarse sand grit. Farmers must introduce the young birds to them in modest doses. Because the starting feed constitutes the majority of the diet, don’t forget to mix it in.

When the ducklings are six months old, augment calcium intake by adding broken eggshells and oyster shells. To enable each duckling to consume the amount they need each day, this should be offered in separate containers.

Ducks Need Tenacity

Ducks also require grit, which is comprised of tiny rocks or fragments of shell. To aid in food grinding, they employ the grit in their gizzards, a tiny muscular organ.

If your duck yard doesn’t have small stones, you can buy commercial grit. Ducks eat small stones they locate while foraging to utilize as grit. For grown ducks, use adult grit or oyster shells; for ducklings, use chick grit.

Using powdered oyster shells as grit for your ducks’ eggs also functions as a calcium supplement for healthy egg shells if they are laying them. The mixtures of coral and oyster shell are not a favorite with our ducks.

Ocean Shell

Okay, so you provide a varied food for your ducks. However, their eggs continue to hatch with pits or thin shells. To supplement their diet with calcium and reinforce their shells, you will need to give them oyster shell.

Typically, you can get it here or at any nearby feed store. You will have healthy eggs in no time with just a tiny handful of this given to their daily diet.

Oyster shells: are they edible to chickens?

When you visit the feed store, you find yourself examining every shelf and wondering which items your chickens actually require. I questioned if I needed to purchase oyster shell for my chicks and, if so, why.

You don’t have to purchase oyster shells, but if your chicken’s bodies are deficient in calcium, this is one of the simplest ways to remedy the situation. Without adequate calcium levels, you may find eggs with soft shells or your chickens may easily suffer from bone injury.

Identifying a calcium shortage in your chickens is simple; after that, give them unrestricted access to oyster shells. Your flock will be grateful.

Is oyster shell edible to geese?

Be aware that geese require more niacin (vitamin B3) than chickens or even ducks when choosing what to feed them! Brewer’s yeast can be supplemented by adding 1.5 TBS per cup of feed or 2 cups of brewer’s yeast for 10 lbs. of feed. Liquid vitamin B3 with 500 mg of niacin per 4 litres of water is another effective source of the vitamin.

Because they lack teeth, geese may have slightly more difficult digestion. Food is ingested by the animal, stored in its crop, and then transported to the gizzard. Food begins to break down in the gizzard to be digested, but grit is required. Small rocks, sand, or oyster shells must be easily accessible if grit is to be used.

What can oyster shells be used for?

You’ve just finished devouring a platter of delectable oysters, and the plate is now covered in shells. Here are various alternatives to trashing your used oyster shells for usage or disposal. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who submitted us suggestions, as many of these came from our online community.

Calcium carbonate, also known as chalk, which makes up the majority of oyster shells, can help buffer soil acidity and supply plants and microorganisms with essential calcium. Additionally, the oyster shell’s texture aids in preventing soil compaction, which can enhance soil aeration. Compost, soil amendments, and mulch can all be made from oyster shells. Just be sure to disinfect the oyster shells by boiling them before using them in your garden. Your oyster shells’ efficacy as a soil component and in compost can be increased by crushing them.

Did you know that Americans use oyster shells to line driveways and even the walks by their homes? Oysters can be a stunning, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly landscape item that even works to stop erosion.

Beautiful wreaths, decorations, and ornaments can be made from cleaned oyster shells. The robust shells are useful for a number of crafts, and the smooth interior shell is ideal for painting.

You might think about contacting an oyster shell recycling organization if you consume a lot of oysters (or if you purchased one of our bulk CSA add-ons). Programs for raising oysters, like the Mass Oyster Project, gather and clean the shells before using them to plant seeds for new oyster beds. The Mass Oyster Project and shell recycling may be read more about here.

What other ideas do you have for using your oyster shells? Comment below and let us know!

Will chickens consume oyster shells?

They may consume oyster shells. A source of extra calcium is oyster shells. For your roosters, they are not a suitable option, even though they might be a wonderful diet for your laying hens. Even if you incorporate oyster shells into your chickens’ regular food, it is best not to let your roosters eat them.

How frequently should hens be given oyster shells?

Give your laying hens free access to an oyster shell feeder or bowl that has been set aside.

While oyster shell can be added to the feed, doing so runs the danger of giving chickens that don’t need oyster shell too much calcium.

Instead, enabling the birds to self-regulate their calcium intake is the best bet.

Place a basin full of oyster shell next to the food you give your hens. Your hens will determine when and how much to eat.

Simply fill it up again when it runs out. The typical hen will consume 100 grams of feed containing 4% calcium on a daily basis.

Throughout the entire year, regardless of the season or climate, oyster shell should be constantly fed.

You should keep providing oyster shell to your hens even if they stop laying because they are molting, broody, or taking a break in the winter.

Later in the season, they will be able to lay larger, more numerous eggs since it will aid to strengthen their bones.

Your hen will quickly absorb the calcium into her system when she is awake and eating.

A hen needs about 25 hours to produce one egg (there is some variation here among breeds).

So that her body is always prepared to develop a hard shell, she should always have access to calcium.

Does ducks’ shell grit matter?

Now that they are adults, the ducks can be fed high-quality layer or breeder food. Best are pellets or a blend of grains. In order to guarantee sturdy egg shells, they also require daily access to shell grit as a supply of calcium.

Ducks require a lot of fresh water to wash their food down. Make sure the bowls for food and water are close to one another.

Ducks are frequently given bread, but too much of it is bad for them. Make sure you only only provide bread or bread goods as a rare treat.

Consult your veterinarian if you observe any changes in the way your ducks are eating.

Does a duck require sand?

While some regions sell special waterfowl pellets, conventional chicken layer feed works just as well for laying ducks. Brewer’s yeast should be added to the feed of ducks in a 5% ratio since they require more niacin than chickens do, particularly growing ducklings. Niacin aids in the healthy development of the bones in ducklings because of how quickly they grow.

Feed should be distributed in large, non-tippable tubs or containers. To allow all the ducks to eat at once, we use metal pans and stoneware bowls, placing out many at once. I attempt to measure out the right amount of feed because an adult duck will consume 4-6 ounces every day, but the amount changes according on the season (they eat more in the winter, less in the summer when weeds and bugs are more readily available). Always have water available close to the feed. If the leftover feed has become moist, it should be thrown away at the end of the day.

An essential component of a duck’s diet is leafy greens. I get our ducklings used to cutting weeds, grass, lettuce, and Swiss chard while they are small. I placed the “salad” in the ducks’ water tub because they won’t eat wilted leaves. This keeps it nice and fresh and keeps them busy searching for the green delights. Fresh peas, corn kernels, cucumber chunks, watermelon, and tomato slices are all favorites of ducks. Ducks should constantly be given grit (coarse sand or dirt) to help break down the food in their gizzard.

Crushed oyster shell or eggshell should be available in a separate container, free-choice, once your ducks reach laying age (often around 6 months), so each duck can eat what she needs for robust eggshells.

Is grit the same as oyster shell?

Another shell is probably present as well, but they are all high in calcium, which our females require.

Soluble grit is another name for oyster shell. This is due to the fact that it dissolves in the hen’s intestines, is ingested by the body, and is then stored for use in creating shells or fortifying bones in the future.

Even though it is claimed that layer feed is all-inclusive and that the hens don’t require anything else outside the feed, it might not have enough calcium for your chickens.

You might not be aware that an egg contains 94–97% calcium carbonate. That’s an awful lot of calcium!

Because hens are distinct creatures, much like people, each hen may have different demands than her neighbors.

Some need extra calcium since they are prolific layerers, while others don’t. Others might suffer from a shell gland deficiency that necessitates higher calcium intake than usual.