Crab shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by rollo4, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. rollo4

    rollo4 In the Brooder

    Oct 31, 2012
    Has anyone tried feeding their chickens ground crab leg shells.
    We had a crab feed last night and I thought instead of throwing the empty crab shells from the legs away what if I ground them and fed them to my chickens. However, I thought it best to check with the experts first. Any comments?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I'd rinse them first, not because of the spices but the salt. Chickens don't handle salty really well.

    It won't hurt the chickens to eat crab legs but the nutrition might not be what you expect. The hard shells are mostly calcium but the soft translucent parts are mostly chitin. Chitin is a protein. It's not that digestible but they will get some benefit from it. So the hard shells are mostly calcium, the soft parts more protein.
  3. R@ndy

    [email protected] Songster

    Mar 20, 2009
    Im from the Maryland area and we eat a lot of the steamed blue crabs so I do give my chickens some for calcium.

    I rinse them off and smash them up in a bucket and give it to them a few times a year and freeze the extras
  4. FreshEggs4me

    FreshEggs4me Hatching

    Nov 15, 2015
    I'm new here and found this topic interesting (crab shells as feed) because we just sat and enjoyed a couple dozen. So I find that my new chicken hobby for the coming year can benefit from these shells. Thinking ahead, I decided to rinse and BAKE the spent shells and bulkier claws to remove any residual moisture from the remaining meat and innards thinking this would make for more efficient smashing and freezer storage until I'm ready to pulverize when needed. I baked in oven at 400'f for about an hour. My precious wife did not find this to be the best of my ideas, but eventually the air cleared....literally! I also heavily sprinkled it with my homegrown oregano since it has antibacterial properties. They easily crushed after baking. I plan to get a Goodwill blender and further grind to a grit. I avoided the remaining guts. This would probably have been fine but I'll wait until I actual begin with chickens so that it is fresher. This site has been my new obsession, and my precious wife is probably getting overwhelmed with my preoccupation and plans, so I'll share them with you. Any advice is appreciated.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by