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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Keni*Sue, May 26, 2009.
Never seen them eat to much.
I try to make sure that the shells are dried, usually by throwing into the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Then I crush until shells are in tiny pieces. I put into a separate bowl for free choice feeding. The chickens will eat it if they want.
I have a round cake pan in the oven at all times. I pull out the pan when cooking or peeling hard boiled eggs and then put it back in when done. When I preheat the oven I leave the pan in until its preheated. When I get enough egg shells I crunch them and then toss them in with their food or kitchen scraps.
I keep a pan in the oven as well that I toss egg shells into. Whenever I'm baking something I take the pan out. When it's finished and I've turned the oven off I put the pan back in to let the residual heat dry the shells. When the pan is full I dump the shells into an old #10 can and crush them up with a potato masher. They don't have to be powdered. Just little bite sized pieces will suffice. I mix them a handful or two at a time into their grain feeder.
I toast the shells to make them crumble more easily. I use a plastic mayo jar with a rock inside to crush the shells -- no need to ruin a blender.
Sometimes I dump the shells into the feeder, sometimes I mix it with goopy stuff like leftover oatmeal, or pasta with plain yogurt on it.
I also crush and toast the shells and feed them back to the girls. I also throw the whole eggs into the blender(shells and all), then cook the girls some scrambled eggs with the extras that I don't eat, sell, or hatch.
Quote:I do the same thing. No need to turn the oven on specially. I just leave them on a cookie sheet either while the oven is pre-heating, or after I'm done cooking and turned the oven off, I put the cookie sheet of egg shells in the oven and the residual heat as the oven cools down is all they need. I find them easier to crush if they are baked in addition to drying. I would recommend against using a food processor unless the bowl is glass. The egg shells are very harsh on the surface of plastic bowls and will scratch them up. Instead I crush mine by hand into 1/4" sized pieces.
Another thing we do (which my kids thinks is gross ) is to save finger/toenail clippings from people and dogs. I sell more of our eggs than we eat, so don't really get enough egg shells, so the fingernail clippings help to add a little calcium to their diet.
As for how much to feed, I just set the bowl out and let them have at it free choice. If you are feeding layer feed, it already has calcium in it, so they may not eat much of the shell. However if you have them on grower or starter feed (e.g., I have mine on grower right now because I have mixed ages and the younger ones can't have layer feed yet), they will go through quite a bit of the additional calcium.
Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protein called keratin, as are animals' hooves and horns. Along with hair and teeth they are an appendage of the skin.
we collect the shells and microwave them,then put them in food processor.It works really well
I just crush my shells by putting them in a plastic mayo jar with a rock and shaking it. I'd hate to ruin the blender, or a food processor. Egg shells are really hard and very abrasive.