Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Added Calcium For Your Chickens

If you have chickens then you are probably well aware that they need a good supply of calcium so that the shells of their eggs remain strong.  If chickens do not have access to enough to calcium they will actually use the calcium from their bodies.

Many people confuse grit and calcium and it is important to know what you are providing for your birds.
Some grit is insoluble which means it is not broken down by the chickens digestive system and sits in the gizzard to help break down food particles.  If your chickens free range then you may not need to provide this as they can pick up their own from the ground.
You can also buy soluble grit that is often crushed shells and provides chickens with a good source of calcium.

Our chickens free range so our only concern is to provide adequate calcium ( our soil is very low in calcium) and I like to do this by recycling all the egg shells back to them.
When using eggs I place all of the shells in a small oven tray and if it is winter I sit the tray on top of the fire place and the rest of the year I place the tray in the oven.  I like to dry the shells out completely so that there are no soft patches of egg white left on the inside of the shell.

Once they are dry I crush them to a fine powder in my mortar and pestle.


I then store all my crushed egg shells in a container and mix a few table spoons into their layers mash every few days.


This this method costs me nothing, we rarely have eggs with thin or soft shells and the egg shells have another use passing through the chicken and then going into the compost.  

Do you feed our egg shells to your chickens?
How do you ensure they get enough calcium?

2 comments:

  1. I also feed the shells to the chooks but I just crush them in my hand and throw them in without cooking. Not sure if there's a reason for cooking? Maybe I'm doing something I shouldn't be!

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  2. I have been buying shell grit because I'm too lazy to feed the egg shells back to them (the compost worms get them instead, and then back to the garden). The free other option is cuttle fish bones, which you can find on the beach at some times of the year.

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