What's your opinion?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KameyRae, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. KameyRae

    KameyRae In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014
    Hi everyone! What are y'all's opinions on feeding back you eggs shells to your chickens? I've heard good & bad things about it. What does it do for the chicken? & how can you prevent your chickens from eating their own eggs? Do you recommend feeding back the shells or not?
    Everyone's thoughts & opinions are wanted! Thank you! :)
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  2. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2014
    I think it's okay to do, but I haven't owned chickens very long.
    I read that you should just make sure to mash it up nice and small, so it doesn't resemble an egg, or you're chicken will start eating her eggs.
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Feeding back eggs is ok BUT it should not be there only source of calcium.
    Eggs shells have a small calcium particle size and will have a negative affect on the *egg specific gravity.

    To have eggs with a good specific gravity you need to have calcium with large particle size in there diet. The best source of large particle size is calcium carbonate and second best would be oyster shells.

    * Egg specific gravity is a test that is done to tell the quality of a egg sell.
    Having a bad specific gravity means a egg has poor shell quality and thin shells.
  4. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I wouldn't because they may start eating there eggs.
  5. Chick345

    Chick345 In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2014
    Wanachee WA
    I did it for along time. But decided to do oyster shells instead when my gals started eating their eggs

  6. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Songster

    Aug 8, 2013
    Definitely feed them back their shells! [​IMG] Make sure you crush them up very well. We break up the shells and then pour them into a big ziplock bag, and then we get a roller and roll over the shells on a flat surface. That'll crush them up real good. As long as you do this, the chickens will not recognize that these are from their eggs. [​IMG] Egg shell is an excellent source of calcium and would be a great calcium supplement for your girls. If you aren't giving layer feed, I'd still recommend giving oyster shell as well as the egg shells for necessary calcium. Hope that helps! [​IMG]
  7. KameyRae

    KameyRae In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014
    Thanks everyone! You have all been a lot of help!
  8. Chick345

    Chick345 In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2014
    Wanachee WA
    Yes, feed them back there shells, I was wrong, only if you crush them up REALLY well. Thank WhiteLeghorn2!

  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Guess I'm in the minority. I feed the egg shells back, but I don't crush/grind/bake/nuke them. I crack the egg and put the shell halves in the chicken bowl. When the bowl's full, it gets tossed in the run. I throw out oyster shell when I remember, also. I've been doing this for 20ish years and never had an issue.
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I’m more with Donrae. Since I usually have growing chicks in the flock I feed Grower to everybody with oyster shell on the side. The egg shells are just cracked and added to the compost bowl. No cooking, drying, or crushing. Mine generally don’t even eat the shells when they scratch around in the compost, they obviously get enough calcium from the oyster shell or other forage. The shells just break down in the compost.

    I’ve had one egg eater, which I call a hen that opens an egg on purpose to eat it. Many chickens will eat an opened egg, that does not make them an egg eater to me. It’s when they open the egg on purpose that it becomes a problem. My egg eater learned to open them when a pullet laid eggs from the roost and they broke underneath. I’m convinced it had nothing to do with me offering them egg shell halves. Still, if you are uncomfortable doing that, by all means crush them. It doesn’t take much effort to crush them.

    Another point. Chickens do not absorb all the calcium in what they eat. A lot of it passes on through and out the back end. That’s one reason chicken poop helps compost, it provides calcium many plants need to combat blossom end rot. So if the only source of calcium is your egg shells then they will eventually run out due to what is lost out the back end. But there are many possible sources of calcium; all processed chicken feed contains some calcium, they can get it from certain plants, various creepy crawlies provide calcium, and if your native rock is limestone they may get a lot from the rock they use as grit. If your egg shells are hard, they are getting enough calcium from somewhere. If the majority egg shells are thin or soft, you need to supplement the calcium. Egg shells are a good supplement. If all the egg shells are hard except for what one individual hen lays, then you have a problem with that individual hen, not with what you are doing with the entire flock.

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