Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Giving Back to the Chickens

Shortly after Country Boy and I moved out to the country, my sweet hubby announced that he wanted to get some chickens.  "Some what?  No, we don't need any chickens."  Well, he wore me down over time (I have a hard time saying no to him, heehee!) and we ended up getting some chickens thanks to some friends from church who lived in the city and had to get rid of theirs once they got big.  That was the beginning of our chicken adventures!

Country Boy grew up in the country and had chickens so chickens were no big deal to him.  This city girl had never had chickens before (which is why I didn't want chickens because I had no idea what to do with them!) so I, of course, had to do some research on having chickens.  I found a very informative book at the bookstore, Chickens In Your Backyard, A Beginners Guide, and I started reading it, got our friends chickens, fell in love with them and our flock grew from there.

One of the tips I learned from the book was to save the eggshells and give them back to the chickens.    Laying hens need plenty of calcium to keep their shells thick and to prevent them from eating their own eggs.  The eggshells need to be well mashed though and speaking from experience, they should be dried well before mashing them, otherwise, the mashed shells end up sticking together.

 Here are the shells drying out...

Once the shells are nice and dry, I grab a few at a time and crunch them up in my hand then drop them in a bowl.

You want to make sure they are mashed well and are unrecognizable as eggshells to the chickens.  Feeding chickens half shells may possibly encourage them to become egg eaters even if they aren't calcium deficient.  Breaking them of this habit is difficult.

Once I get a decent amount of shells in the bowl I sprinkle them on top of their feed.

Bon appetit, my little chickadees!

This may be old news to most of you but I had a fella at church ask me why I was saving the eggshells so I told him.  He said that he had raised chickens most of his life and never knew that.  So, I thought I'd share it with you just in case!

Recycle those shells and give 'em back to the chickens!

Till next time,


Lynn said...

Very interesting, this city girl did not know that. Happy girls=happy eggs=happy farmer:@)

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We haven't recycled our egg shells - we should try this!

Nancy said...

This may sound bad -- but if I collect an egg or two that I'm not sure of the freshness, the birds get them -- I launch them over the fence. Lol. Ma Kettle -- that's me.

Eat To Live said...

We used to do that when I was a kid and had chickens.

If you are interested, every Thursday I have a Garden Club. If you would like to link up, you are more than welcome. There are no rules... just link a post (doesn't have to be new.

Trails of Grace said...

Our chickens get this tasty snack too! They seem to love the crushed shells. Our chickens get all the table scraps we can offer them and when we mix the egg shells in too.. it seems the crushed egg shells are the first things to get gobbled down.

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