Do-it-yourself crushed shells for calcium?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kristenm1975, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    831
    11
    163
    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I live on Whidbey Island and several of the beaches around here have a wealth of pre-crushed shells, not oyster shells, but those nice big white ones. Do you think I can just use those? I would boil them first to make sure they're not carrying any bacteria.
     
  2. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    960
    0
    139
    Jul 20, 2008
    Should be OK if you sanitize them. Nice cheap way to get their calcium. [​IMG]
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    6,583
    14
    261
    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Hi there, fellow Washingtonian!

    I save allll my eggshells and crush them up for the girls. If you've got friends on the island, they can do the same for you. Just rinse them out & let them dry, then crush with a meat tenderizer (that's what I used).
     
  4. happymama

    happymama New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 21, 2008
    Tennessee
    Will giving them eggshells encourage them to peck their own eggs? I have noticed that in the last week we have had 2 eggs get eaten. Does that mean they need more calcium? Or have i encouraged it by giving them eggshells? I was told to bake the eggshells so they wouldn't associate them with their own eggs but i don't know if that has any merit either.
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,271
    778
    406
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:You may have an egg eater. I put a camera in my coop for other reasons, but I would definately keep a close eye on them. I always wash off the eggs before I use them, save the shells and crush them up and give it to them. They don't even look at their own eggs after they lay them, but I give them free choice oyster shells too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  6. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    2
    141
    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    I would definitely use those shells if we still lived on Whidbey (I was stationed at Oak Harbor 2002-2005). I wouldn't boil them though. After all, the hens eat off the ground!
     
  7. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    6,583
    14
    261
    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I don't think a chicken can extrapolate that crushed white stuff = the things she lays.
     
  8. foxcrossing26

    foxcrossing26 Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    22
    Jul 4, 2008
    I think feeding crushed eggshells to my hens has improved the quality of their shells. I got two new hens from a friend a few weeks ago and noticed that their eggshells were quite thin, whereas the shells of my hen that I've had for months are very strong. My friend feeds commercial layer pellets, and so do I, but I mix crushed eggshells in with mine. Within 2 weeks, the shells of my new hens had thickened up noticeably. What else could it be besides the eggshells? My girls free-range for only 1 hour a day, so I dont think it's the bugs.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by