Egg shells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ednasgirl, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. ednasgirl

    ednasgirl Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2011
    My ten chicks are laying at 6 mos. Recently I've noticed a few eggs are showing slight Crack lines ... Though not piercing shell. One had a tiny hole in one end. I put plenty of growth/laying pellets out as well as scratch grain and they get free range time of about 6 hrs per day. They look healthy, but don't seem to eat much of the laying pellets. What will make their shells stronger. This is my first batch to raise and I love having them around. They are pets. Thanks for any advice!
  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    add calcium to their diet, crushed oyster shells, I mix grit, oyster shell and scratch and throw it in the run every late am, they also have layer feed in the coop. OP just put a dish of oyster shells out for them
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Lay off the scratch. It has low protein and almost zero calcium. Make their diet 95% layer pellets/mash and the egg shells will be much stronger. Also, dry, crush and feed back all the egg shells too. It's free.
  4. Aemelia

    Aemelia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Pick up some oyster shells where ever you buy your feed. That should help.

    ETA: I give my hens grit and oyster shells every other day and their shells are really hard compared to store bought eggs.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  5. ednasgirl

    ednasgirl Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2011
    Thanks so much for the input. The scratch grain I get has very little corn, mostly small seeds; the squirrels get in the open gate and eat most of the corn while the girls are out free ranging. I leave the pen door open so they can get in to lay. I will get oyster shell and follow other suggestions. Crushing egg shells up and feeding it back to them is a new one on me. But I'll try it.
  6. SIMPleChick

    SIMPleChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    I had a couple eggs with tiny holes and noticed it was from the hen pecking at it a little too hard while trying to move it. First few eggs they are still curious about them and like to move them around. When they squat they are at least an inch from the nest when the egg drops. I have plenty of nesting but some times a hen will nestle all the way down to the bottom of the bucket and the egg will get a slight crack, or if there are a few eggs in the nest already it will just bump into it. Just tiny hairline cracks, right? That's my guess. I need a new bag of calcium, their shells seem to be thinning out a little. I wanted to see the difference of giving calcium to not and there is a difference.
  7. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    I keep a little basket on the kitchen counter and place my used egg shells in there. When they're dry, I crush them up, and throw them back into the chicken run. The chickens eventually eat them up, and their eggs are very strong. I don't buy calcium or oyster shell - they just get the eggshells back. Today I had to crack an egg 3 times before I could open it!
  8. brit57

    brit57 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 26, 2011
    Michigan City
    When you start buying oyster shells and all that added stuff you take away from the whole point of keeping chickens, to get free eggs every morning. if you just crush the shells and feed them back to the chickens you wont have to spend added money on a pretty sustainable pet.
  9. FromOregon

    FromOregon Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2011
    the Willamette Valley
    We feed ours recycled crushed egg shells, but we live in Oregon and can get oyster shells cheap enough or free that it is a non-issue to get some to supplement their diet.. on a side note when I had chickens growing up we let them have crawdad shells after we were done with a crawdad feed and we got the most amazing bright salmon colored egg yolks..

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