How to give eggshells?

Devyn Nagy

Songster
Jun 2, 2020
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151
Ionia, MI
My hens just started laying. Should I start giving them eggshells? If so, should I have them available all the time, or just give the shells to them occasionally? Should I crush them?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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My hens just started laying. Should I start giving them eggshells? If so, should I have them available all the time, or just give the shells to them occasionally? Should I crush them?
I rinse, air dry, then crush when I have a bunch.
Mix with Oyster Shell in separate feeder.
I feed all flock, but even if you feed layer good to have some 'on the side'.
full
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
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Mar 5, 2019
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Congratulations on your first eggs! Do you have a rooster? If so, it may be best to feed an all-flock formula, as the calcium in layer feed can be detrimental to birds that don't need it, such as birds too young or old to lay, birds that are molting, and males. Instead. Offering oyster shell in a separate container meets the needs of the layers, as they will take what they need and the other birds won't use it. I believe recycled eggs shells can eventually lose their efficacy as they get used over and over again. Oyster shell is cheap and they don't use much.
 

Devyn Nagy

Songster
Jun 2, 2020
230
677
151
Ionia, MI
What are you feeding them?
Layer feed or All Flock?
Congratulations on your first eggs! Do you have a rooster? If so, it may be best to feed an all-flock formula, as the calcium in layer feed can be detrimental to birds that don't need it, such as birds too young or old to lay, birds that are molting, and males. Instead. Offering oyster shell in a separate container meets the needs of the layers, as they will take what they need and the other birds won't use it. I believe recycled eggs shells can eventually lose their efficacy as they get used over and over again. Oyster shell is cheap and they don't use much.
I do not have a rooster. I'm thinking I should check out oyster shells.
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
Premium Feather Member
May 25, 2020
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You can offer either egg shells or oyster shells. If you use egg shells, I would rinse them and crush them well so they don't resemble eggs...which could possibly lead to egg-eating. Then you just want to offer the shells to them in a separate dish from the feed. I like to offer the shells all the time, so the hens can take as much or as little as they need. :) Oyster shells are also great! I find they offer a little more calcium for my girls, but that could just be my own thoughts. :)
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
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May 25, 2020
4,186
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Western Washington
Nahhh...some folks just toss the halves into the run.
Good point. :) I just offered that because I did the same thing, and quickly afterwards, my chickens began to eat their eggs. I make sure to give them high-quality feed, so I don't think they were in need of more feed, and they free-range and get along, so I didn't think it was stress either....I figured that they took off of the shape from the eggshell, thinking it was okay to eat their own eggs, but I'm probably wrong on that. :)
 

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