Feeding Egg Shells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BarbiD, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. BarbiD

    BarbiD Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2016
    Hayes, Virginia
    I've always given my girls crushed oyster shells since they started laying, free choice. However, my Ayam Cemani's egg shells still seem thin. I've been saving egg shells for about a week and was getting ready to crush them up and offer those two. I read though somewhere you should rinse out the membrane? I haven't done that. Is it safe to give them the egg shells or ditch these and start washing them out first?

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Go for it. I don't meticulously clean eggshells when I've got enough to use as calcium. They gobble them up just fine.
  3. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    I keep my empty shells on the counter top all week.
    Then when I bake on the weekends, put them in a tray and bake them at 350 for about 15 minutes.
    It sterilizes them and makes them easier to crush.
    BTW, some hens just lay thin shelled eggs, my dominant hen does all the time and she gets plenty of calcium and protein.
  4. RonP

    RonP Overrun With Chickens

    What other source of calcium are they getting?
  5. To be honest....I wash them out...Bacteria can grow....Next time rinse and dry on paper towels....Not a big deal..Just what I was taught by older wiser Chicken keepers...

  6. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2016
    34.560847, -81.154203
    My Coop
    I rinse out the goo, but don't bother with the membrane. When they're dry I put them in the toaster oven and bake them at 250F for 5 minutes or so. This not only sterilizes them but it also seems to make them more brittle. The membrane just drys to almost powder consistency. I then crunch them in my hand and grind them into sand in my "Magic Bullet" blender.

    Odd thing I noticed, Muffins' green eggs are blue on the inside of the shells, (obviously) but after baking them the inside has turned white, the outside however stays green. [​IMG]
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I think the white you are seeing after baking is the membrane that has dried out.

    I used to be concerned about bacteria, egg goo in shells, and such. Now, I just toss them in the run and stomp on them. Not an issue. Any goo left in the shell dries out before they go in the run, and if it hasn't dried out by the time I toss them in there, it's still plenty fresh. Albumen has it's own anti-bacterial properties. I've read that it's been used over superficial wounds to speed healing. I have yet to work up the courage to try it, but... may do so one day.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Albumen might have antibacterial properties, but it is also an excellent growth medium and is used commercially as such.

    I rinse it out and let air dry, but don't bake...and crush after large quantity accumulates to mix with oyster shell.
    Many way to process and feed back egg shells.

    But regarding the OP's thin shell layer.......
    ......if only one bird has thin shells and all birds are on same diet, it's the bird not the diet.
    I have had a few birds that consistently lay thin shells, probably something wrong with their ability to uptake nutrients, probably genetic and uncurable.
  9. BarbiD

    BarbiD Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2016
    Hayes, Virginia
    Thanks aart! Yes, they are all on the same diet - free range all day and full access to organic layer feed whenever they like.

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