I put mine out in garden with the rest of the compost...I don't crush them. The chickens RUN when I throw out the compost and eat what they want out of it, the rest I'll till into the soil in the spring (which is hopefully around the corner
). The garden isn't near the coop and I've never had any problem with egg eaters. Whenever we have oyster or clams I put the shells out into my dry wash and over time the girls and weather break them up. I occasionally find them around the yard. They love their calcium.
I dont do it at all, but a friend of mine does.
He toast his in the oven then crushes them and feeds them.
He does this, he claims, to cook the shell and cook off any taste of eggs. He claims it keeps them from turning into egg eaters. which I have seen cases of that, a hen or roo, gets the taste of egg in them and they will burst and eat every egg they come across.
Might try cooking them slightly to be safe.
Or do like I do, just get a bag of oystershell and be done with it.
Mine are saved up in an old coffee can until it's full, then I bake them at 250 for 40 min in a foil-lined 9" x 13" pan. (The foil is to keep any liquid white from sticking to the pan. It's HARD to scrub off.) Then the shells are dumped from the foil into the pan where I crush them with the edge of a tiny cutting board that I have. Baking them seems to make them easier to crush-dries out the membrane and any residual white.
As far as how I feed them, I mix them with oyster shell and put it in a small hanging feeder. The girls really go for it, and I think less is wasted than by scattering it on the ground.
Well, I am certainly glad to hear someone else thinks about this too. I have been saving my shells for quite some time now. I usually wash them off in the dishwater at the end of the "washing session" and after they dry, I put them in a bag. I frequently grind them up in a coffee grinder and put them at the bottom of the hole where I plant tomatoes to prevent blossom end rot. As for the girls, once the shells are ground that fine, I mix it in with their pellets and they never know they've eaten it. Makes the shells much harder, and I might add tougher to crack at the morning stove.
If you just crack them small enough you can put them in with the feed and it seems to be no problem for my 3 ladies. They eat it and give me a present the next day!
Good for a calcium supplement. It's VERY important, though, that you crush or grind them into tiny pieces. You don't want them to associate eggshells with food, or when they feel any dietary stress, they may begin to eat their own eggs.