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Recycling Your Chicken's Eggshells

Recycled egg shells
Recycled egg shells crushed and ready for the chickens  

A photo of Melissa 

CaugheyEggshells are entirely compostable. However, instead of throwing them into the compost bin, why not feed them back to your chickens? Chickens of egg laying age not only require layer feed but also require an additional source of calcium.  Many people supplement their chickens’ diets with oyster shells.  Yet, with a little bit of effort, you can recycle the shells from their eggs you have used for your family.  This provides your chickens with a great source of calcium.  Plus, you can't beat the price-free.

When you recycle your flock’s eggshells back to your flock, it is imperative that they do not resemble eggs.  This is important because you do not want your flock to begin to eat their eggs.  Once this behavior starts, it can be very difficult to break your chickens of this habit.

Start by leaving the larger cracked egg shells intact and drying them completely on low heat (200 degrees F.) in your oven on a baking sheet for about 1 hour. Once completely dried, place them on newspaper. Then use a rolling pin to crush them into bite size pieces for your chickens. Crushing them ensures that your chickens will no longer recognize them as eggs.

No need to worry if you only eat a few eggs at a time. A great place to save those egg shells is in a metal pie tin on top of your toaster oven. Over the course of a few days, your egg shells will not only collect but dry as you use the toaster oven.