Question to those that feed their chickens eggshells back to their chickens.


10 Years
Nov 6, 2009
outside, except when I'm inside
I know that feeding your hens' eggshells back to your hens is a good way to give them calcium, therefore keeping their eggshells hard. My question is, how do you go about storing your eggshells until it is time to give them to the chickens? Do you grind up the egg shells and give them as you go, or do you wait till you have a significant amount, and then give them to them? I like to wait till I have a good amount, then grind them up and give them to the girls. It's also much easier to grind them up once they have dried out. My concern is, is it possible that leaving the wet eggshells out to dry allow bacteria to grow, hence making my chickens ill? I could rinse them off before drying them out, but I don't think that would get all the yolk off, unless I used super hot water.
I wash mine and then put them in the oven for 20 min or so at 200 or better... just watch so they dont burn.. There was a video on youtube about chickens that included this handy tip.... It also keeps the chickens from knowing its egg shell.. then they wont eat own shells.
I just feed them to the chickens. They may set out on the counter in a scrap bucket for a day, but I don't wash or bake them. I've never had a problem with egg eating....
You can fuss with them, if you want to. But life is far too short for me to spend any time doing so. Air dry in a box where they get tossed. A week later? They are brittle as can be. Simple crush and mix in their feed. Done. Save the energy for important stuff.
I accumulate shells in a large bowl until I have a lot. (No smell, if it's just a little egg white on them.) Then I grind them in the food processor and spread them on a cookie sheet. This goes into a cold oven set to 350 degrees or so (when I'm preheating the oven for other uses). I never wash the shells after cracking the egg.
We rinse them, then let dry,then put in container until the wife decides to crush them up and take them to the chickens. I don't think any bacteria growth can be any worse than the bugs they dig up on their own.
I let them dry out, crush them and put them in one of those plastic coffee cans, until needed. Once crushed, you can store an awful lot of egg shell in one of those. When I have a mixed age flock and I'm feeding flock raiser, I go through a lot. Once they are all of age and I switch back to layer feed, the consumption of egg shell drops back off, allowing my stockpile to renew.
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I take the egg shells, and put them in the toster oven on the rack, and just put them on light toast so to dry them out and make them brittle. I put them in a cup or something and smash them up. I have a bowl thingie out in the run I put all calcium suppliments in there, oyster shells, egg shells. The hens go over and eat as much as they need. Theres a bowl beside that one with grit. Good luck
I rinse off the eggshells and put them in one of those hanging metal baskets over my sink. When I get a bunch I spread them on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 15 minutes at 350 (doing this while the oven is warming up for baking is a good idea). Then I throw them into the food processor, crush up to almost dust, and keep in a plastic container and add to their feed.

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