Can I feed chicks broken egg shells?

Phisch

Songster
Oct 3, 2018
100
72
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Just curious, would they need grit to be able to digest shells? I have a little pile of them from breakfast and thought maybe it's possible. They're about 6 weeks old.
 
Don't do it they don't need the added calcium as too much calcium *could* (doesn't mean will) cause kidney issues including gout and failure if fed long term to birds not in lay. It can also stunt growth and delay onset of production.

Once they are close to laying... absolutely. Meanwhile, maybe compost them. Or if you want rinse and let dry and then crush and store them for later use. Most of us won't feed grocery store egg shells or those from another flock to our own birds. Too much risk.

Hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow
 
Thanks for the tips! I didn't think about them coming from the store. Good point!
 
I have fed them eggshells for about 30 years, after they start laying. I rinse my shells and let them dry so they don't get stinky on my counter. Then, I crush them and feed them back to them. I also supplement with a little oyster shell. Just make sure you crush them a bit so they don't look like egg shells. If they do, you might get them into the nasty habit of eating eggs.
 
I have fed them eggshells for about 30 years, after they start laying. I rinse my shells and let them dry so they don't get stinky on my counter. Then, I crush them and feed them back to them.
Once laying I DO also feed my shells back to the flock.

I don't rinse as being raised in California we have been taught to save water. I do set them on the counter and let them dry being sure they don't nest inside each other and let things start growing. Never had any smell or sick chickens YET. Once they are dry I put them in a coffee can and crush a little, not excessively as it won't be absorbed well if too small it just passes through (is my understanding).
 
Once they get to laying age, I do. I put them in the over at 350 for 7 minutes to dry them out (can leave out in sun in summer) then I crush them up so they don’t get the idea that large eggshells= food. Haven’t had a problem with them eating their own eggs.
 
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