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feeding hens egg shells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by momofchicks, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. momofchicks

    momofchicks Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    Is it really okay to feed my hens their egg shells back after we crack them open? Should I wash out all the stuff left inside just incase? should I only mix it with their regular food or can I just put a pile of crushed egg shells in their run? Thanks!

  2. Mr. Nappy

    Mr. Nappy In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2011
    If they are not consuming a layer feed, then they'll eat the crushed egg shells for their needed calcium. You can just put it in a small feeder near the food, so they can eat it at their will. Their bodies will tell them how much they need. If they are eating a layer feed, they don't need any extra calcium.
    We actually heat ours in the toaster, but I've read on here that most don't. I find though, that trying to crush them with wet egg stuff inside is messy and sticky, and toasting them dries that stuff out.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  3. LT

    LT Songster

    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    I keep mine until I know I will be using the oven, then I pop them in for about 5 minutes, and then I grind them in the food processor. I try to get the shells as small as possible so they don't recognize it as "shell." Whatever is left, goes into the compost, where I know it will be good for the garden next spring. I love knowing that none of my girls' eggs goes to waste.
  4. Harrietsmum

    Harrietsmum Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    I put mine in a container on a sunny window sill in my kitchen. They dry out very quickly, then I crush them down with a wooden spoon and put them in a container in the run. The girls help themselves. I usually top the container up every week.
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    all my egg shells go back to my chickens..... They love them. (I put the crushed shells on top of the oyster shells in container). My process too is to nuke them in the microwave when it is running for some other purpose, and then crush and take out to the chickens.

    I knew that I had read something somewhere about the size of the calcium pieces. This is from the University of Florida Extension:

    "Calcium can be supplied in the diet as either ground limestone or oyster shell. Particle size affects calcium availability. Usually the larger the particle size, the longer the particlewill be retained in the upper digestive tract. This means that the larger particles of the calcium source are released more slowly, and this may be important for the continuity of shell formation, especially in the dark period when birds do not ordinarily eat."

    Underline is mine....so I don't crush the eggshells too finely.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011

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