Egg Shells as Calcium Supplement

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TammyTX, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. TammyTX

    TammyTX Crowing

    Feb 16, 2009
    So I fed my chickens back about six dozen eggs last weekend. I whirled them in the Vita Mix and what was left behind was about 4 cups of very pretty eggshell sand. I separated it out, baked it in the oven and then let it sit for a couple of days to make sure it was all dry. The shells by the way were not ground like flour, more like small "flecks".

    Yesterday I went out and put the shells out in the oyster shell holder and today....they were ALL gone. They ate all four cups??? Not only that but they had scratched around the ground getting every piece that dropped. They oyster shell lasts for a few weeks.

    Why would the chickens eat so much ground up egg shell in less than 24 hours? They are yard birds and they have a large 50x50 yard for 43 birds.

    Anyone anticipate I'll have problems??
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It was most likely just something new and they liked the flavor. Let the quality of the egg shells they produce tell you if they need more calcium. Since you sound like you are giving them oyster shell free choice, unless you see an actual problem with the egg shells they are producing, you have no problems.
  3. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I throw all of my eggshells into the compost and as a result, my vegetable garden beds have bits of shell mixed into the soil.

    I noticed for the past few weeks, as I have allowed the hens in the garden, they have been scratching around in them and eating all of the bits they can find. I guess I need to find another source of calcium for the garden.

    They have the oyster shell in the coop but they still love the egg shells.
  4. Giammona farm

    Giammona farm In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2009
    Point Reyes Station, CA
    If you feed them your old egg shells they might eat eggs. Some peaple recyle there egg shells.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    They won't even recognize ground up shells as their own eggs, so it won't start them on an egg-eating binge. I've baked the shells to make them dry and brittle then crushed them up and put them in a rabbit feeder. Done it for years. No egg-eaters at all here.
  6. Tweeza

    Tweeza Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    I've had my chickens for a year now. I just let the egg shells dry and crush them up. I've not had any egg eater. They love their shells and ignore the oyster shell. The hens egg shell's are tough as nails. I dropped one in the yard (no grass) and it literally bounced, rolled, and came to rest without a crack! I was shocked!!

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