How do oyster shell supplements affect eggs

tygress66

Hatching
Dec 16, 2015
7
0
7
Minnesota
I have a small flock of Rhode Island Reds, 5 hens and a roo. My lovely ladies are excellent layers, even with it currently being winter in Minnesota, I still get 4 to 5 eggs a day from my girls. We are looking to get them calcium supplements, as they are craving calcium, and they don't seem to be getting enough from the eggshells we have been giving them every day. Our local feed store sells big bag calcium supplements made from oyster shells, which I know is fine for the birds. My main concern is whether or not oyster shell calcium supplements will make the eggs unsafe for me to eat, because I have a severe shellfish allergy. Does anyone know how oyster shells affect egg quality (besides helping make stronger shells)? Would be self-defeating if I have a steady supply of eggs but still have to eat store-bought because my own might kill me...?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,409
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Wisconsin
I don't think it will affect you, but I don't know for sure, I would guess large producers use oyster shells as well. It might be a question asked of your doctor.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,207
491
Long Beach, WA
It's highly unlikely that you are allergic to the shells. The shells are primarily composed calcium carbonate. It's the same stuff that pearls are made out of. If you can wear real pearls, than oyster shell calcium will be fine for you to handle. That calcium carbonate is absorbed and metabolized by the chicken and then utilized to produce the eggshells. The oyster shell does not make it's way into the egg whites or yolk.
The calcium in layer feed is frequently ground oyster shell. If you've never reacted to eggs from commercial sources, it's very unlikely that you will react to eggs from hens offered oyster shell for calcium.
 

tygress66

Hatching
Dec 16, 2015
7
0
7
Minnesota
Thanks! We did find a calcium supplement that was sourced from limestone, which, let's face it, ultimately came from oyster and other mollusk shells. My dr says as long as it contains no soft parts from an oyster (flesh, juices), I should be ok. :) My ladies are definitely happier now, and their eggshells are better, too.
 

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