Egg Shells

Egg Shells

Feeding egg shells back to your chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks or other poultry is a great way not only to give your chickens calcium but it t recycles them. Cracking an egg and giving it to the chickens isn’t a great idea because they will associate the shells with what they lay. Once an egg eater always an egg eater! They aren’t after the egg due to the lack of calcium, they want the protein from the egg and usually get started out of boredom.
A hen will sit waiting on the edge of a nest waiting for a hen to lay her egg, cackling to ‘egg her on’ . As soon as that egg is dropped, the waiting hen pecks at the egg to break it open. At this point the shell is very soft, not hardening for a few seconds. Once this gets started it is hard, nearly impossible to stop. It would be better to try to isolate the offender and see it if still continues. If it continues, think about starting a new flock and stewing the old one.

To prepare the shells to feed back to your chickens, take shells and put on cookie sheet in the oven. the pilot light will do the rest. In a couple of days they are dried… electric oven? turn oven on to 350 to get oven hot. turn off, put the shells in the oven and the shells will dry. Since it gets pretty hot during the summer and I have an electric oven, I don’t turn it on, I put the shells in the oven and let them stay for a couple of days.

Once dry, crush the shells before giving to chickens .. throw out with the feed. I place the shells between newspaper and use my rolling pin.

Since egg shells are full of calcium and if you really dry them, you can crush the shells into powder and use it for a calcium supplement. Easier to sprinkle in mashed potatoes or make into bread or cereal if you happen to make these items from scratch to eat. Since it won’t dissolve it isn’t so easy to put in milk or soup.

You can always make pills the old fashioned way…. mix a little flour and calcium with water, to make a dough, roll into little pills.. let dry. This isn’t an accurate amount, sort of a pain… put in mashed potatoes! LOL!