egg shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Carter57, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Carter57

    Carter57 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    Do you feed your chickens egg shell?
    The wife and i norally eat 4 eggs a day for breakfast. I have heard that the shells are good for the hens.
    I troubled about this may make them eat there oun eggs.
    Let me know what you do.
  2. ChickenSahib

    ChickenSahib Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2011
    So far I've read these things on the forums:

    Microwave the shells to kill bacteria / change the taste so it doesn't catch on with fresh eggs

    crush them up and mix it into yogurt

  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    I dry mine out in the sun or on top of the heating system in my house. Then I toss them in a big coffee container with 4 golf ball sized rocks then shake it. It breaks down the shells to smaller than freckles sized pieces and and the longer you go the smaller the pieces and even makes dust. Then I just add it to their food,they dont even know that their eating egg shells. Also its a good supplement for your garden as well,my shells never go into the trash,ever. Just dont feed it to chicks that are not laying.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  4. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I feed my laying hens eggs shells too. I just let them sit out to dry or bake them in the oven, crush them, and sprinkle them in their run with scratch. The non-laying pullets don't seem to notice/care about the shells at all.
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hi Carter57,

    Poster #2 here ChickenSahib may be referring to my process-- I do microwave the egg shells -- and then put between two paper plates and crush with a can of pineapple tidbits (just because it is there on the shelf, any crusher would work, of course). First the flat bottom, then use it like a rolling pin, resuffle and reroll until they get as small as I want them.

    I microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds-- Just becase that is three taps on my microwave controls. My objective is to kill any bacteria, thinking samonella, that could be there. Lots of posters in another forum thought that was over kill (Literally ;O) ) The shells are kind of crunchy and they crush easily---the whites that remain are also cooked and dry so there isn't a gluey mess...

    When they are crushed to flakes, about the same size as the pieces of oyster shell that I have for them, I dump in the cage cup where I keep oyster shell.

    I used to put egg shells in the compost--but they took a really long long long time to decompose. I like the chicken method better. Why waste? Chickens need the calcium anyway. Because they are crushed I don't think that the chickens would tie them back to their eggs. (who really knows what goes on in those chicken brains?)

    Luckily for me, I have frequent access to gather there is not much opportunity for the chicken to get too interested in her egg.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Whatever bacteria is in/on the shells, came from the chicken anyhow. A chicken lives in a world of bacteria.

    Do what you wish, but we just throw them into a bucket where they air dry to a brittle state. Crush 'em once a week or so, and feed them back mixed into their feed.
    No pain, no strain, no fuss, no muss. Some things in life are as hard as we make them.
  7. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I have always thrown my shells out to my chickens and I do not dry them and I do not have egg eaters either.
    I just toss them out the back door and they scamper to grab and tear them apart.
    I also throw one on the ground and bust it if they have wonky shells when I get them out of the nest box. Always have done that and in all these years still do not have egg eaters and one hasn't gotten sick from their own eggs. I have hundreds of chickens, some free range and some penned.
    Egg eating comes from a lack of calcium or protein. If they have a balanced diet they do not eat the eggs. But a treat is a treat and when offered they will not refuse and they know a busted egg should be cleaned up right away to prevent predators. Plus it is yummy when offered.

    As previous poster said, they live in a world of bacteria.
    There are so many myths about chickens and eggs.
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I keep an old pan in my oven that I throw egg shells into. I take it out when I'm baking something and when it's done I put the pan back in so the residual heat can dry the shells. When the pan gets full I crush them up and keep them in an old #10 can. When the can gets full I take it down to the feed room and mix it to the bird's layer feed. Only about two big handfuls per thirty pound tube feeder.

    They don't have to be cooked or sterilized.
  9. feliciamckee

    feliciamckee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    J Bro
    My hen scratches them out of the compost bin. My roo helps her find them and then he stands there and watches her eat. They are crushed up as well. Don't feel bad about it, she wouldn't be actually eating her own eggs, just the shell they come in.
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    The used shells are a good, cheap source of calcium--besides they don't compost very well. But some of you make extra work for yourselves by baking, nuking or otherwise processing the shells. I've been feeding them back for over 20 years by just tossing them into the run along with the other treats--the only thing I do to "process" them is to crush them, primarily so one hen doesn't get everything. As above, any microbes on them are already in the flock's bodies so there is no danger there and, since the shells are in bits, the birds don't seem to make the connection between the shells and the complete egg. Most egg eating problems arise from an egg being cracked in the nest, not from feeding used shells.

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