Hens just devoured dried/baked eggshell

My Three Chicks

Songster
May 3, 2021
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289
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Los Angeles, CA
I have 4 girls around 24-weeks old. 3 are laying. They are on layer feed and have free access to oyster shells. All are laying good hardshelled eggs.

Today I decided to bake some eggshells for them. I put a little in their food then in my hand and they devoured it! Like it was a treat!

Should I be concerned...does this mean they are not getting enough calcium?

I hope that they don't develop such a taste that they eat their own eggs!
 
Apr 7, 2021
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442
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I have 4 girls around 24-weeks old. 3 are laying. They are on layer feed and have free access to oyster shells. All are laying good hardshelled eggs.

Today I decided to bake some eggshells for them. I put a little I'm their food then in my hand and they devoured it! Like it was a treat!

Should I be concerned...does this mean they are not getting enough calcium?

I hope that they don't develop such a taste that they eat their own eggs!
It’ll be ok! I purposely feed all my hens eggshells back to them. They'll be fine!
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,324
16,202
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Nevada County, CA
I have 4 girls around 24-weeks old. 3 are laying. They are on layer feed and have free access to oyster shells. All are laying good hardshelled eggs.

Today I decided to bake some eggshells for them. I put a little in their food then in my hand and they devoured it! Like it was a treat!

Should I be concerned...does this mean they are not getting enough calcium?

I hope that they don't develop such a taste that they eat their own eggs!
My girls eat it up like candy! They get oyster shell, too, but egg shell is a treat to them. No egg eaters in my flock!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,773
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I have 4 girls around 24-weeks old. 3 are laying. They are on layer feed and have free access to oyster shells. All are laying good hardshelled eggs.

Today I decided to bake some eggshells for them. I put a little in their food then in my hand and they devoured it! Like it was a treat!

Should I be concerned...does this mean they are not getting enough calcium?

I hope that they don't develop such a taste that they eat their own eggs!
There shouldn't be a concern they will develop a taste to eat their own eggs. You crushed the shells, they don't know it's eggs.

Hens (and roosters too!) like baked egg shells. For them to devour them doesn't necessarily mean they aren't getting enough Calcium. Mine will hoover up baked egg shells like they are a tasty treat. They always have access to oyster shell.
 

My Three Chicks

Songster
May 3, 2021
162
289
121
Los Angeles, CA
There shouldn't be a concern they will develop a taste to eat their own eggs. You crushed the shells, they don't know it's eggs.

Hens (and roosters too!) like baked egg shells. For them to devour them doesn't necessarily mean they aren't getting enough Calcium. Mine will hoover up baked egg shells like they are a tasty treat. They always have access to oyster shell.
So interesting...who knew?! :thumbsup
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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I put a little in their food
What is their main food?

They may gorge on anything new.

Shells, oyster and chicken egg, should be in a separate container.
I mostly use OS but mix in the other when I have it.
This is what I use:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/gallery/oyster-plastic-jar.7897731/
full
 

My Three Chicks

Songster
May 3, 2021
162
289
121
Los Angeles, CA
What is their main food?

They may gorge on anything new.

Shells, oyster and chicken egg, should be in a separate container.
I mostly use OS but mix in the other when I have it.
This is what I use:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/gallery/oyster-plastic-jar.7897731/
full
They eat Grubbly Layer Feed (pellets):
https://grubblyfarms.com/products/grubbly-layer-feed
They get it dry and I also ferment everyday too so they get both options. And also Mana Pro Layer Crumble mash as a treat.
And free access to oyster shells and grit in separate containers.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,878
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WA, Pac NW
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Mine have free access to oyster shell, but they definitely prefer crushed dry eggshell. My guess is that it has greater (calcium) bioavailability than oyster shell. Or maybe it just tastes better. 🙂
Probably tastes better to them. Oyster shell should provide more calcium as it lasts longer in their digestive tract, however it's less "natural" in the sense their wild fowl ancestors weren't harvesting oysters for calcium. Wild fowl eat nonviable eggs as well as insects or snails to get calcium, and also don't lay as much as modern commercial chickens so their calcium needs are different.
 

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