Feeding back eggshells for calcium - how I do it!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jstlitlome, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Chillin' With My Peeps

    369
    23
    108
    Mar 11, 2013
    Missouri
    I'm new to this whole chicken thing so about everything that I do for them I learned from you all! I always love seeing how everyone does things. This is one little thing that works well for me, so thought I'd share:

    I like the idea of feeding eggs back to the chickens. Its re-using of resources and best of all its free! Also, my chickens aren't too keen on the oyster shell.

    I don't like the idea of just setting raw eggshells out in the coop to grow bacteria and mold, so this is how I do it:

    Each morning after breakfast, I rinse out each egg, rubbing the inside to get rid of the slimy part and set them on my sink to dry a bit. (I lysol my sink afterward, of course! )
    [​IMG]

    Then I put them in a ziploc bag and crush them up a bit
    [​IMG]


    I keep the bag in the freezer and continue adding eggs to the bag until they run low in the coop and need more. Each time I add some, I crush them up a little more. They crush into tiny pieces easily when they are frozen.
    [​IMG]


    Then when it is time, I put them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for about 10 - 15 minutes. This gets the moisture off of them and sanitizes them.

    [​IMG]


    After it cools I bring it out to the coop! The girls love it! and I'm confident that it wont sit there and grow stuff. Plus its, nice and flaky and it no longer resembles an egg. I suppose this is important so they dont get any egg eating ideas.

    [​IMG]

    Then I start a new bag.

    Its not rocket science, but just a little sumpin that works for me!

    Leslie
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It's not rocket science, buy why do you make it so much work?

    I crack eggs open, put shells in a bowl with all the other food scraps on the counter. Every day, dump the bowl in the run. That's it. No mold grows, nothing nasty. They eat everything I toss out there every day, so no problems there.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Chillin' With My Peeps

    369
    23
    108
    Mar 11, 2013
    Missouri
    it really isnt a lot of work and they dont eat all the eggs at once. I've tried. Plus my rooster doesnt need the extra calcium so I dont mix it with the food.
     
  4. ownerof7chicks

    ownerof7chicks Out Of The Brooder

    36
    1
    36
    Oct 20, 2013
    Thats what I do except you don't even need to crush them up just dump it into their pen cracked in half and they step on it themselves so I don't even crush them up!
     
  5. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

    680
    137
    158
    Mar 24, 2013
    We just crack ours (usually eat about 8 to 10 eggs at a time for our family). I put them in a very small round tupperware container and with a fork I smash them till they are tiny (slimy part and all). I take them and put them in a dog dish in the coop and within minutes my 5 chickens have cleaned the dish.

    Very easy to do! No washing, drying and baking needed. :)
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    223
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I toss mine out the back door and they barely hit the ground before they are gone.
    No need to go through a lot of work, or to worry about a few "germs"

    They're chickens.
    Germs have little effect
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. smccuen

    smccuen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,912
    61
    168
    Apr 26, 2012
    Western NC
    I rinse my halved shells just after I use them for cooking then toss them in a ceramic bowl on the counter. Whenever I've used the oven I put the bowl of shells in the oven and leave them there as it cools. When I use the oven again I leave them in there until it has warmed again. Then I take the bowl out and use a pestle to grind them into bite size bits then stir them into the layer crumbles in the feedbin. That way I don't use any extra power to dry them - just use the oven I'm heating for baking other things. I hesitate to toss them to the hens without rinsing them or breaking them into pieces as I'm concerned the hens may then be more likely then to break their own eggs. Any way it's minimal and pleasant work and beats purchasing grit or calcium supplement.
     
  8. ChicksCoopHome

    ChicksCoopHome Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    24
    Aug 22, 2013
    I am new to chicken rearing and have some hesitations feeding egg shells back to the chickens. I've read in other forums and blogs that this practice might encourage chicken to eat their own eggs. How true? Has anyone experience this? Or is it completely ok to feed my gurlz with eggshells?
     
  9. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,534
    174
    186
    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I use an old coffee can that sits on my counter. I crack an egg and put the shell in the can. The inside dries up in very little time and - a few days later - I take a wooden spoon and bust up the shells.

    Take a walk to the coop and feed some of the crushed shells to the girls. They love them. No mess and minimal effort involved.
     
  10. smccuen

    smccuen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,912
    61
    168
    Apr 26, 2012
    Western NC
    I'd heard that feeding them unwashed shells might encourage them to eat their own eggs. I rinse out the shells for that reason and for another: I left the unrinsed shells to pile up in a bowl one week and regretted it due to the horrible smell and the fruit flies that were drawn to the stench. No trouble with smell or flies if I rinse them (nothing complicated just swirl and tip). Have been feeding these rinsed, dried, crushed shells to the hens for months and they've not taken to breaking their eggs. I find them easier to crush if I've set them in a warm oven for an hour or so (but I don't turn on the oven just to do that - I use an oven that I've heated for baking something). They readily break into very small bits once dried that way, then I stir them into the feed. Others recommend offering them separately - in a pile on the ground or in a separate dish rather than mixing them with the feed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by