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Feeding store bought egg shells...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Cryss, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Cryss

    Cryss Crowing

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    I'm getting my chickens probably this weekend. They won't need to be fed calcium suppliments until about mid to end of February as I calculate they will begin layong early march. Meanwhile I've been saving shells from farmers market eggs. I dry them on top of my warm freezer surface in a bowl, then crush them a bit more in my bullet. Now I read I shouldn't feed them shells from eggs that weren't laid by my own flock. I was planning to do that once they start laying, but until then can I sanitize these shells to make them appropriate? Boil them? Bake them? Nuke them? I just wanted to give them a good start when they reach about 18 weeks old without having to purchase OS.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    An egg shell is primarily calcium carbonate. It doesn't matter if they're from your flock or not. I don't know where you read that but if it is a concern, I would bake them for a bit at about 400. Nothing can survive that.
    OS is also calcium carbonate but superior because of its large particle size so it stays in the upper digestive tract longer. Then it makes contact with the calcium absorption sites in the small intestine during the night when the eggs are commonly in the shell gland.
    However, don't stress any of this. Most people don't give it as much forethought as you and they still do OK.
    Once they start laying, are you planning to put them on layer feed or continue with a lower calcium feed?
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

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    If you make the switch to layer feed, they won't need any extra calcium. But don't make that switch till everybody is laying. Crushed egg shells break down more quickly in the gizzard than crushed oyster shell does, so having some crushed oyster shell on hand is a good idea.
     
  4. Cryss

    Cryss Crowing

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    Good question. I'm still learning. I'm nervous about free range because of hawks and local cats and such. I hope to feed them by bringing the vegetaion (and protein) to them >back-to-eden<gardening style. Since I'm just starting this grand experiment, and its not a growing season, I'll begin with crumble (along with some whe corn and BOSS for winter warmth, and some grit) then switch to layer. I'm hoping I'll be able to see if I'm giving enough veggies and protien by noting if they eat less of the offered layer. Am I thinking this correctly?
     
  5. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Songster

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    i have never heard you have to feed only shells from your own chickens... not sure why anyone would say that. I think it's fine, and if you see thin shells even after using layer formula, then also offer them oyster shells. mine have nice hard shells without anything but layer formula.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    Egg shells can certainly be used from store bought eggs, or eggs from an other flock. I recycle all of the egg shells from my own flock. I simply dry them, crush them a bit (only so I can get more shells into my collection container) then dump them into the run. If they haven't been crushed, I simply stomp on them. BUT, if using shells from an other source, I strongly recommend that they be heat sterilized. This will remove any concerns about disease that can be transmitted through eggs. I have no idea if my suggestion is overly cautious, but that is how I'd manage shells from outside my flock.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    Keep in mind, that chicken feed is complete and nothing else is needed. Most feed bags' nutrition labels have a statement as such. Adding too much other stuff can possibly dilute optimal nutrition. Fresh green vegetation and other things that contain carotenoids will darken the egg yolks but doesn't really affect the nutrition of the eggs.
     
  8. JeanR

    JeanR Songster 9 Years

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    We pay for complete feed, so why bother with the shells of he eggs you eat? For me a time waster (but not for everyone). Oyster shell is in the gizzard until used up and the chickens eat it free choice for best use. I put my egg shells in my compost to add to soil nutrients--veggies!
     
  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    I have heard this also, to only feed shells from your own flock. Wondering if it has to do with the cleaning process of eggs in the US? Maybe it's safe in countries where the eggshells aren't chemically cleaned? I don't know. Curious to hear others weigh in.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    Jean, do you provide free choice oyster shell in addition to your complete layer feed? Oyster shell is not hard enough to supply the grit needs of a chicken. Egg shell provides the same benefit of oyster shell. Just as simple to keep a bowl beside the stove and toss the shells into the bowl instead of a compost container. Agreed, egg shells are great in the garden also. Very little gets thrown away here. I even keep a bin of worms for winter vermicomposting.
     

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