For weeks now I’ve been saving eggs shells. I keep meaning to pop them into the oven and bake them awhile before I crush them up. Life, however, has kept me at a dead run these last few weeks. So, the eggshells piled up. And up.
Once the eggshell mountain threatened to begin an avalanche and spill all over the gallon bucket, I decided I’d procrastinated long enough.
So, onto a cookie sheet…
Into the oven. Baked for 30 minutes at 225°. And cooled in oven until easy to handle.
Then placed in a bag and crushed with a rolling pin.
That gallon-plus-sized eggshell mound gave me about two cups of crushed shells.
For what? To feed my chickens, of course. Baking the shells accomplishes two things. It kills any bacteria that might be lurking, and it ‘disguises’ the taste for the chickens so they don’t get any ideas about pecking their eggs. It also makes the shells a bit softer, which makes it seem like it should be easier to go down.
Everyone talks about the benefits of raising chickens for the eggs…but how many of you think about the benefits of egg SHELLS? They’re a great source of calcium, which all laying hens need in their diet.
I nailed up an empty tuna can (being careful to get rid of any sharp edges), and I keep eggshells in their chicken run for whenever they might need it—they instinctively know when to eat it (I keep a second tuna can in the run filled with grit to help their digestion).
My chickens like the eggshells much more than they like the oyster shell calcium I used to give them. And I like it because now that I see eggs as an amazing and precious commodity, I like being able to use the whole thing. Not just the insides.
But, if the thought of feeding eggshells to your chickens is a bit too much for you, you can always crush the shells and sprinkle them around the outside of your garden spaces to deter slugs (the sharp edges cut them, so they don’t like to crawl across them), or dump them into your compost bin. Or, use them in some kind of egg craft.
Whatever you do, please just keep those shells out of my scrambled eggs. Bon Appetite!