1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Egg Shells as Nutrition.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Rustys Girls, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Rustys Girls

    Rustys Girls Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    10
    68
    Jun 4, 2015
    Alta Loma Texas
    I give my girls the calcium oyster shell, they just started laying in the last 2 weeks. I kept the eggshells yesterday that I used for breakfast, is giving the chickens the shells to eat a good or bad idea--will they even eat them? rg's
     
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    They like their own egg shells better than oyster shells. Just be sure you crush them up into tiny bits and wash off any yolk. You don't want them to become egg eaters.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    19,543
    2,580
    446
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are different opinions on how you need to treat the egg shells. Some people wash them, bake them, and/or crush them. Some of us just toss the halves where they can get to them and never get egg eaters. Just be comfort with how you want to do them.

    The hens seem to know when they need extra calcium and when they don’t. There are a lot of different ways they can get calcium, feed, oyster shells, egg shells, some plants they eat, some creepy crawlies, even some gravel they use for grit if it is limestone. You can offer the egg shells on the side. They might eat them, they might not. It won’t hurt to give them that choice. They might prefer oyster shells, they might prefer egg shells, they might eat neither or both. If their egg shells are hard they are getting enough calcium, that’s what is important.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. zekintha

    zekintha Out Of The Brooder

    35
    2
    36
    Aug 11, 2015
    Long Island
    How early can/should u start offering egg shells (or oyster shells?). Should u wait until the hen is actually laying or start before hand to prevent soft/weak eggs?
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    19,543
    2,580
    446
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A traditional way to feed a mixed age flock, including a flock where a broody hen is raising baby chicks with the flock, is to offer oyster shell or egg shells on the side and feed a low-calcium feed. In that case you are providing oyster shell or excess calcium to baby chicks, but they don’t eat enough to harm themselves.

    You can offer oyster shell anytime you wish as long as it is offered separately, not mixed with their feed.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

    197
    21
    133
    Dec 8, 2007
    I eat pulverized egg shells as a calcium supplement (added in smoothies), it is no problem to bake a large batch, rather than baking a small batch just for myself. In fact after crushing I can sift the really fine stuff for myself and give them the coarser pieces.
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    6,627
    894
    336
    Sep 13, 2011
    High egg producing hens need oyster shell, which dissolves slower in the bird, and is available in early morning, when she is making the egg shell. Egg shells fed will dissolve much earlier, and not be available when she needs the calcium. It probably didn't matter with hens that produces very few eggs, compared to modern birds. Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Rustys Girls

    Rustys Girls Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    10
    68
    Jun 4, 2015
    Alta Loma Texas
    Thanks to all, great advice as usual. Been laying 2 weeks now and my Delawares are already giving me these.[​IMG] rg's[​IMG]
     
  9. BlueOrpingtons

    BlueOrpingtons Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    26
    Sep 16, 2015
    Alexandria, MN
    Egg shell work, but they are not as efficient as oyster shells as far as calcium goes, because the egg shell dissolves faster inside of the hen
     
  10. Rustys Girls

    Rustys Girls Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    10
    68
    Jun 4, 2015
    Alta Loma Texas
    Yes, that is what I am hearing, I am using the oyster shell as a supplement in separate trays. I have 6 month old hens as well as another batch of 2 month old pullets. My plan is to buy 40 chicks every 4 months and to keep that cycle going. This started as a hobby because of a broken elbow and pasture restrictions from above when dealing with my 4 legged ladies, so I figured I could raise some chicks and still be in the barn as we say. I am having a pretty good time raising them, hawks are a pain as well as skunks and possums---but you live and learn. rg's
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by