Are thicker shell eggs healthier for people and chickens?

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
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501
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Canada
When feeding purchased crashed oyster shell free choice, the egg shell thickness is "normal", may be tiny bit thicker than that of supermarket bought eggs. Our chickens are no big fans of oyster shells.

However they go crazy about own baked & crashed egg shells or local crashed clam shells when allowed. Not sure if this is because they are tastier, easier to digest or because they hand crashed and all unique sizes. But the following days the shells become super thick, especially at pointy eggs.

While super thick shells are more enjoyably to crack while cooking:
a) are those eggs healthier to eat because there might be also extra calcium in the egg itself compared to thinner shelled eggs?
b) is it healthy for chickens to "overdose" like that on calcium?
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
Crushed.

There is no difference in the nutrition.
There is calcium contained in the yolk ;but that should be relatively constant.
What affects the shell thickness is the amount of calcium available in the bloodstream when the egg is in the uterus (shell gland). Crushed oyster shell should make calcium carbonate more bioavailable in the bloodstream due to it coming into contact with the calcium absorption sites in the small intestine at night when most eggs will be in the uterus.
 

GC-Raptor

Crowing
Jul 26, 2016
4,372
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Connecticut, USA
While super thick shells are more enjoyably to crack while cooking:
a) are those eggs healthier to eat because there might be also extra calcium in the egg itself compared to thinner shelled eggs?
I don't think the inside of the egg would contain more Calcium because the calcium is applied over the membrane.
According to Purina, (strong shells are 0.3 millimeters thick and help keep bacteria out. Each eggshell includes 2 grams of calcium.)

So my pullets first eggs, except the first egg was a large size double yolk and easier to crack, were small and difficult to crack.
As the eggs reached medium size the shells are easier to crack.
is it healthy for chickens to "overdose" like that on calcium?
I offered my Barred Rocks at 17 weeks old Oyster Shells in a separate container.
7 pullets consumed nearly a quart in 3 days. None keeled over. It's not like poison. It takes awhile to OD on calcium.
They started to lay between 20 and 23 weeks.
Our chickens are no big fans of oyster shells.

However they go crazy about own baked & crashed egg shells or local crashed clam shells when allowed.
Unless you remove the membrane from eggshells it contains protein. Possibly the local clam shells contain some protein and salt. Yummy. GC
 

kerbotx

Songster
Aug 29, 2016
106
172
151
Northeast Texas
Excess calcium can show up as bumps on the outer shell, as well as a dusty appearance on the shell. If your chickens don't like the calcium supplement you have on hand, try something different next time - different products have different source materials. Some are real shells, from the ocean, chipped up; others are real shells mixed with limestone or coral; I'm currently trying one made of Aragonite calcium.
 

DrTheMomm

In the Brooder
May 4, 2020
21
99
46
West Texas
Crushed.

There is no difference in the nutrition.
There is calcium contained in the yolk ;but that should be relatively constant.
What affects the shell thickness is the amount of calcium available in the bloodstream when the egg is in the uterus (shell gland). Crushed oyster shell should make calcium carbonate more bioavailable in the bloodstream due to it coming into contact with the calcium absorption sites in the small intestine at night when most eggs will be in the uterus.
Thanks for this explanation. My girls refuse to eat the crushed oyster shell that I bought for them, so I've been concerned about the amount of calcium they get. I've considered crushing their own shells, baking it, and giving it to them. Is it necessary to supplement their diet with some kind of calcium supplement?

Btw, great signature! I think I'll take a vacation.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
31,970
24,979
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St. Louis, MO
Thanks for this explanation. My girls refuse to eat the crushed oyster shell that I bought for them, so I've been concerned about the amount of calcium they get. I've considered crushing their own shells, baking it, and giving it to them. Is it necessary to supplement their diet with some kind of calcium supplement?

Btw, great signature! I think I'll take a vacation.
Happy travels! Where is your first destination?

If they are getting sufficient calcium in their diet, they will have no interest in the oyster shell.
All chickens aren't created equal. A leghorn, ancona, RIR or jaerhon laying eggs every day will need more calcium than a bird laying an egg 3 or 4 days a week.
They shouldn't need a supplement. Feed is formulated for their needs but one size doesn't necessarily fit all. The more eggs they lay, the more calcium they will need.
 

DrTheMomm

In the Brooder
May 4, 2020
21
99
46
West Texas
Happy travels! Where is your first destination?

If they are getting sufficient calcium in their diet, they will have no interest in the oyster shell.
All chickens aren't created equal. A leghorn, ancona, RIR or jaerhon laying eggs every day will need more calcium than a bird laying an egg 3 or 4 days a week.
They shouldn't need a supplement. Feed is formulated for their needs but one size doesn't necessarily fit all. The more eggs they lay, the more calcium they will need.
My first destination of choice is the Painted Chapels in the Texas Hill Country. https://traveladdicts.net/painted-churches-of-texas/

Meanwhile, thanks for the info. My six girls are just starting to lay, and I am getting, usually, three eggs a day. So maybe they don't need a lot of calcium right now. They ignore the oyster shell that I put out for them.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
31,970
24,979
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St. Louis, MO
My first destination of choice is the Painted Chapels in the Texas Hill Country. https://traveladdicts.net/painted-churches-of-texas/

Meanwhile, thanks for the info. My six girls are just starting to lay, and I am getting, usually, three eggs a day. So maybe they don't need a lot of calcium right now. They ignore the oyster shell that I put out for them.
What kind of feed are you giving now?
1% calcium or 4% calcium?

I like the Texas Hill Country. I imagine the churches are a treat to see.
That said, you are already in Texas. The hill country isn't very far afield.:oops:
 
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DrTheMomm

In the Brooder
May 4, 2020
21
99
46
West Texas
What kind of feed are you giving now?
1% calcium or 4% calcium?

I like the Texas Hill Country. I imagine the churches are a treat to see.
That said, you are already in Texas. The hill country isn't very far afield.:oops:
I'm not sure. The packaging says it's 16% mini-pellet layer feed.

I know Texas Hill Country isn't far away, but unfortunately health issues keep me close to home. My traveling days are in the past. :rolleyes:
 
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