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Feeding hens their own shells??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RebeccaM, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. RebeccaM

    RebeccaM Hatching

    Nov 13, 2008
    Is it okay to feed our hens their own shells back to them? I read somewhere that it was for calcium, but now I cannot find any info on it being okay. Should we be giving them oyster shells instead?

    They are eating that Dumor feed...and rarely free ranging now that we almost lost one...(10 year old in charge!)but we move their coop around once a week.
  2. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Rebecca, it is fine to feed them their own shells. Try searching on here for other threads asking about this; there are several. There are various suggestions how to do it.
    The ones I remember:
    Microwave a few seconds.
    Crush fine
    Add to their regular feed
    I sometimes just toss them in a bag for a few days to let them dry out, crush them and put with kitchen scraps.

    You can also feed them cooked eggs for extra protein.
    Good luck, Carolyn

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    Feeding them egg shells is fine-returns the calcium they use in making shells. Kind of like bringing a glass milk bottle back to be refilled! [​IMG]
  4. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    Yep perfectly Fine

    All I do is wash the shells, air dry and then crush it up and mix it into the feed.
  5. RebeccaM

    RebeccaM Hatching

    Nov 13, 2008
    Okay...phew! We had been doing just that, washing them and air drying for a few days.
    I just break them up into small pieces as best I can. Should I be grinding it up fine--like in a food processor?They end up being like 1/4 inch square pieces.
  6. DeeTee

    DeeTee In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2008
    Desbarats, Ontario
    Sounds like what you are doing is fine.
    I let them air dry and then just crumble them up with my fingers. If I giving the chooks some tomatoes or sunflower seeds as a treat, I mix the shells in too.
  7. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    You're doin fine hun. [​IMG]
  8. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I fed my hens their shells! I hardboiled an egg or two and then crushed it all up (shell and all) along with shells that I'd saved from throughout the week and sometimes added a drop or two of vitamins as a special treat...

    I fed them this about once a week and they also had oyster shell out.
  9. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I usually mix mine up with some of their oatmeal mixture. One of my pullets loves the eggshell so much she will hear us crack open an egg and come running. After a couple days I give her half an eggshell and she crushes it up with her feet then eats it. Treats it as if it was a worm lol
  10. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I've been saving egg shells since I got my pullets as wee chicks. I throw them in a plastic container w/o a lid and just let them air dry, then I crush them with a meat tenderizing mallet. I don't bother rinsing the shells.

    It's surprising how heavy the crushed shells are.

    Now... if only the girls would start laying!!

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