Can chickens eat crab shells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WestMIchick, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. WestMIchick

    WestMIchick Just Hatched

    Feb 29, 2016
    Beautiful West Michigan!
    Hello friends! Just wondering if anyone has opinions on tossing a bunch of (cooked) crab claws/ shells to the chickens? They are the really big ones with bumps on the claws. The claws, not the chickens [​IMG] I would think it may add some protein/ calcium? And winter fun? Maybe dry & grind them up? I would freeze these to use later (as I am in a no-treat period with my flock & trying to stabilize their winter diets). Thanks for your advice & ideas!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Crab shells are made of two different materials. The really hard parts are mostly calcium, just like oyster or clam shells. Crush them up into bite sized pieces and they are a great calcium supplement. The flexible mostly clear part is made of chitin, a protein. It’s not real digestible but they will get some benefit from eating it. Some parts of the shell have a combination of calcium and chitin.

    Mine really like the chitin, what they get is mostly shrimp shells. Feeding that crab to your chickens sounds good to me.
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Mine love crab shells. I let them dry out in the sunshine, then toss them into the run. The birds have no troubles pecking them into manageable pieces.

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