Supplementing Calcium for Good Shell Production
One of the things hens really need to lay good eggs is calcium. I don’t like the idea of paying for calcium supplements we really don’t know where the calcium comes from. Why take the chance when I can get a natural organic version for free. That’s why I recycle my egg shells and feed them back to my chickens. To prevent my hens from associating the eggs shells with eggs I put them through a process them before feeding the shells to them.
- After cracking an egg to eat, I rinse the shells with warm water. I do this because it cuts the time it takes to dry out the egg. It also is less messy.
- I then lay out each egg half upside down on a paper-towel to dry. I allow the eggs to dry for a full 24 hours in open air on my counter.
- I use the paper towel to crush the shells into small pieces but not into a powder.
The girls don’t like them as a powder. The first few times I tried this, I powdered the shells in the food processor…the girls gave it a thumbs down. Crushing the shells into small pieces is enough to disguise the.
I collect the egg shells in a jar for a few days. Then I transfer them to this nifty Shell Feeder I made.
Most chicken keepers say that it is best to hang the shells in or near your coop. The theory says the way the hen’s egg cycle works it is best for them to eat the shells before the roost for the night. If it’s available as they go in to roost they more than likely will grab a bite. My chickens each eat it at different times of the day so I put my feeder close to the coop and try to keep it full. That way all my bases are covered.
*Feeding citrus to chickens causes thin shells. I do not feed citrus. Instead I use citrus leftovers to make homemade cleaners like this Natural Disinfecting Cleaner.
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