lobster body/shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lobstaEggs, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. lobstaEggs

    lobstaEggs New Egg

    Jan 18, 2016
    A local seafood store gives me all the lobster body's and shells I want.my chest freezer is full. Just wondering if I can give them too much.7 ducks 23 chickens.they have a huge 20/20 run that I plan on rototilling uneaten shells in spring for our gardens
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  3. lobstaEggs

    lobstaEggs New Egg

    Jan 18, 2016
    I should have included they are soft shell, I can easily break apart by hand
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Even so. A chicken's beak can't break up a lobster shell no matter how soft. You'll have to break them up and then concern yourself with them being mostly calcium so if you offer them, it may be best to consider them an alternative to oyster shell (calcium supplement) but not a real food source.

    Are there any meaty parts as well?
  5. ZJchicks

    ZJchicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2013
    I feed crawfish shells regularly. My girls love it. Just break them up some. They'll make due. And there are a lot of nutritents beyond calcium in crustacean shells.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are two basic kinds of shells, hard and soft. The hard are mostly calcium, like oyster or clam shells. The soft generally translucent parts are mostly chitin, a protein, not calcium. Think shrimp shells but not the claws. The chickens can eat chitin but it doesn’t digest all that well. They’ll get some benefit from it but not a lot. Still mine eat it and really like it, generally shrimp shells. They can pick the softer shrimp shells apart. Don’t expect them to do that with the hard calcium parts.

    On a lobster or crab you will have both and some parts are a mixture of both. The harder it is the higher the calcium content. The softer it is the higher the chitin content.

    I doubt you can feed them too much of either. If you crush the hard parts it’s basically like oyster shell, they will self-regulate how much they eat. I’m less certain on the chitin but would think they might self-regulate there also.

    I don’t think I’d put that directly in my garden. The hard calcium just won’t break down for a long time and a broken shell can be kind of sharp. I would not want to be digging in that with bare hands.

    I don’t know how long it would take for the chitin to break down. You might be better off putting it in your compost pile than directly in the garden. Every gardener with chickens has to have a compost pile of some sort. You can turn chicken poop, garden and kitchen wastes, and yard waste like clippings and leaves into black gold. There is nothing better for a garden than compost.

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