Egg shell question....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by angeldoxie1, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. angeldoxie1

    angeldoxie1 Out Of The Brooder

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    My mother has this weird idea that our chickens eat egg shells.... She says back in Korea people used to do it all the time, like you crush them up and the chickens eat them. She says that the egg shells have lots of calcium in them and somehow when the chicken eats them it makes the eggs they more nutricious then normal eggs layed by chickens who aren't fed egg shells.
    I would really like to know what the heck my mother is talking about! I have never heard anything like that, [edited to remove age reference] I do research my animals' needs. Plus my dad and I worry that with my mom doing that, the chickens might eat their own eggs.
    Is that a possibilty? Plus our chickens haven't layed.... They look big enough, especially our rhode island red hens. Is it the heat? We live in the Mojave Desert of southern Calif.
    They have shade, clean water, nest boxes, fresh food, roosts, the whole package. So what could be the matter? I'm not totally sure how old they are, since we got them from a livestock auction. We have 2 rir, maybe 3 but that hen has a very small single comb coming in unlike the 2 other girls, 1 easter egger, 1 buff orpington, 2 brahmas (they're a red color), and a light brahma rooster. Can anyone give me a little information on the breeds?
    Oh does the nest boxes have to be a certain level off the ground? Do they also have to be seperate from the place where they sleep? Please tell me all I need to know because I am clearly a noob when it comes to chicken care!!!
    Please and thank you [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
  2. atimme

    atimme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens DO eat eggshells! If you crush them up and add them to their feed it provides much needed calcium. I would only caution against putting whole or partial shells in there as they have sharp edges, and may encourage hens to start eating their own eggs. I grind shells in a muller (mortar and pestle) so they are quite fine.
    It's probably the heat, how big are your hens? They should start at about 20 weeks, if it's very hot they might not. Give them time, they will probably come around. [​IMG]
    As for breed info, there's a good chart on this website if you search for it that can tell you a lot about each one. Also there are various threads of conversation about each breed with stories and pictures.
    Keep the nest boxes where they sleep, anywhere from 1 foot to 3 feet off the ground.
    Hope this helps!
     
  3. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yes, grind them up and add them to the feed. The calcium won't make the eggs taste better but it will help make their shells stronger.
     
  4. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    I grind the shells in a glass blender. Do not use a plastic blender or food processor. it scratches the plastic.
     
  5. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a ziplock baggie and a rolling pin to crush the eggshells for my chickens. As far as I'm concerned it is FREE calcium for the girls! Your mom is right on!

    My BO are 16 weeks old; have not begun to lay. The sex-links began at 16 - 17 weeks; all but Lucille who has yet to lay an egg and is the meanest hen of them all. [​IMG]

    My EE's, BR's, and SLW's are only 15 weeks so none are laying yet.

    Good luck with your chickens! [​IMG]
     
  6. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed mine egg shells too. It makes more sense to me than buying oyster shell for them, and I'd think shells are the best source since they have all the ingredients in the proper proportions already.
     
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Been doing it for years. Used to toss them in the composter but they don't compost so smash them up and give them back to the birds. I also mash them up and put some in the bird feeder in the spring.
     
  8. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your mother's idea is not weird, it is just that you haven't heard of it before. Many people have different ideas about things; have you heard the expression "different strokes for different folks"?. It means that some people have differing thoughts on things- it is what makes the world go around (that, and love, according to the song) [​IMG]

    Many people give their hens egg shell; it does not encourage egg-eating, as far as I've been able to tell. It does give extra calcium to layers. Some people use oyster shells for this purpose. I put egg shells in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. They crush better if they are dry.

    In this case, your mother is right. just because I'm 15 doesn't mean I don't research my animals' needs
    Your 'research' must have missed this part... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010

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