Ground eggshells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bills, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    One of the poultry raising books I bought mentions that grinding up washed/dryed egg shells, is a great calcium supplement, for layers. The book says if they are ground up fine enough, the chickens won't recognise them as egg shell, and so won't start in on the fresh layed eggs.

    I ground up about a dozen, with a mortice, and pestle, but have been hesitant to feed it. Anybody try this? Any problems??
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Should be fine. I give egg shells back to them all the time.
  3. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I have always fed my chickens ground up eggshells, as has my grandmother from whom I originally learned about keeping backyard chickens.
    Once they are good and dry (I often put them out in the sun for a day or so), I just crumble them up in my hands.
  4. MRW

    MRW Songster

    Feb 21, 2008
    Gales Ferry, CT
    Yes, I use the M&P to grind them up real fine too and add to their crumbles or mix in with their treats. Might as well reuse them instead of buying oyster shells.....
  5. Sunny Chook Farm

    Sunny Chook Farm Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    I feed them back to my layers... dry them in oven then crush them up real fine, mix in w/ feed...
  6. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    I store mine the freezer until I fill the container, then put them in a ziploc bag, crush them with a roller and zap them in the microwave for a minute or two. Then back to the girls they go.
  7. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    I save my shells, microwave them for 2 minutes to make them more brittle and kill any bacteria, then crunch them up in a ziploc bag and add to their oyster shell dish. They always go for the egg shell bits before the oyster shell.
  8. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Great responses, thanks! I'll try them once the birds start getting into full egg production

    It appears that similar to humans, getting the urge to eat certain foods, a chicken will eat calcium only if they feel the need for it.
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Regarding chickens eating the eggs: I think most chickens (especially young ones) don't recognize an egg outside the nest [​IMG]. Some barely recognize the egg IN the nest [​IMG] but it is the nest which seems to be a sacred place and a clutch of eggs a part of that.

    Crushing the shell makes good sense since it further removes it from the look of an egg.

    The laying hen has a critical need for calcium. One reason that a simple grain or vegetable diet isn't adequate for her is the limited calcium available for shell formation.

    ". . .(M)any times the diet has to furnish in excess of 4 grams of calcium to the hen daily." That's why layer feed has 3%+ calcium. And, getting too much calcium is not likely for a hen (altho' it can be a problem for younger birds).

    There's 2.2 grams of calcium in the shell (5.5 grams of calcium carbonate). Giving it back to the hen goes a long way towards allowing her to make an egg without robbing her own skeleton to do it. Certainly, we don't have much use for that egg shell but if we are feeding scratch or kitchen scraps it's a real good idea to give the shell back to the hen. It's probably a better source for what she needs than anything else [​IMG].

  10. MTtroutwithwings

    MTtroutwithwings Songster

    Jul 10, 2007
    Montana Country
    I give mine back to the girls as fresh as they give the eggs to me. I soon I crack them open and release the egg, I run the shells back out the run & they gobble them down! Yesterday, one egg was on the floor of the coop which I didn't see until I stepped on it and one girl ran off with the shell while three others sopped up the egg! I even give them the leftover French Toast batter of egg & milk! Nothing goes to waste around my girls! [​IMG]

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