What Age Can Chickens Eat Eggshells

Key Takeaways:

  • Feeding eggshells to chickens is important for their calcium needs and eggshell development.
  • Eggshells are a valuable source of calcium for chickens compared to other calcium supplements like oyster shells.
  • Chickens should start consuming eggshells at an appropriate age to ensure proper calcium intake and prevent egg-eating behavior.
  • Steps should be taken to prepare and store eggshells for feeding, while also preventing chickens from developing a habit of eating their own eggs.
  • It is essential to understand the benefits, risks, and precautions associated with feeding eggshells to chickens to maintain a balanced diet and prevent calcium toxicity.
  • In conclusion, providing proper calcium supplementation through feeding eggshells is crucial for the health and productivity of chickens.



Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Gary Smith

Feeding eggshells to chickens is an essential practice for fulfilling their calcium needs and promoting optimal eggshell development. In this introduction, we will briefly touch upon the significance of incorporating eggshells into their diet and address concerns raised by a user regarding this matter. So, let’s dive into the world of chicken nutrition and the role eggshells play in their overall health and egg production.

Importance of feeding eggshells to chickens for their calcium needs and eggshell development

Eggshells are a great source of calcium for chickens. It aids the strength and thickness of their eggshells, resulting in healthier eggs. This helps avoid calcium deficiencies which can lead to bad habits like egg-eating. Also, eggshells are cheaper than other calcium supplements, like oyster shells, and they’re easily digestible.

However, it’s important to give eggshells at the right age, and to clean, dry, bake, and crush them before feeding. This helps stop chickens from eating their own eggs. Plus, you must use high-quality eggs from safe sources. Too much calcium can be toxic, so feed chickens a balanced diet with appropriate calcium intake.

Eggshells aren’t just for jokes – they’re also essential for chickens’ calcium needs and eggshell development!

Brief overview of the topic and concerns raised by a user

Eggshells are a source of calcium for chickens. It’s important for eggshell development and nutrition. Someone raised questions about this. So, we had a closer look at the advantages and considerations of feeding eggshells to chickens.

Calcium intake is significant for egg quality and production. A deficiency can cause thin or fragile eggshells, leading to cracked eggs or reduced hatchability. Comparing the benefits of eggshells to oyster shells is key. Both have their advantages.

The user was concerned about chickens eating their own eggs. This is caused by inadequate calcium. So, it’s vital to give them calcium from a young age.

Guidance for feeding eggshells includes determining the right age. Collect, clean, and dry the eggshells before baking and crushing. Different storage options for crushed eggshells exist.

Safety is essential. We must distinguish between good and bad sources of eggshells. Also, take precautions to avoid calcium toxicity and maintain a balanced diet for chickens.

Understanding the Role of Eggshells in Chicken Nutrition

Understanding the Role of Eggshells in Chicken Nutrition

Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Austin Lee

Eggshells play a crucial role in the nutrition of chickens, affecting both egg quality and production. In this section, we will explore the significance of calcium intake for egg quality and production. Additionally, we will compare the benefits of feeding eggshells versus oyster shells as a calcium supplement. Lastly, we will discuss how calcium deficiency can lead to egg-eating behavior in chickens, shedding light on the importance of proper nutrition for these birds.

Significance of calcium intake for egg quality and production

Calcium intake is essential for chickens to make quality eggs. It helps with bone development, muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Plus, it’s necessary for strong eggshells that don’t break.

Eggshells are a great source of calcium. They’re natural, easy to get from the farm, and digestible. Crushed eggshells are best, as they can be absorbed efficiently.

Introduce eggshells into the chicken’s diet when they start laying eggs, around 18-20 weeks. Clean and dry them first. An oven at low temperature kills bacteria. Crush them finely to stop chickens associating eggshells with eggs. Lastly, store in a clean, dry container away from moisture.

Along with calcium supplementation, a well-balanced diet further reduces egg-eating behavior.

Comparing the benefits of feeding eggshells versus oyster shells as a calcium supplement


Eggshells and oyster shells are both good sources of calcium for chickens. We must compare the advantages of using them as supplements. Here is a table summarizing the comparison:

Aspects Eggshells Oyster Shells
Calcium Content High High
Absorption Rate Slow Rapid
Cost Economical Relatively Expensive
Availability Easily Accessible Less Readily Available
Source Repurposed Waste Product (Egg Consumption) Aquatic Bivalve Shell

In addition to the benefits, it is important to consider a balanced diet for chickens. Grains and proteins are also essential.

We should also crush the shells into pieces before giving them to chickens. This helps with consumption and digestion. It’s best to incorporate them into regular feed instead of offering them separately. This ensures consistent intake.

Without enough calcium, chickens may resort to cannibalistic tendencies to get the eggshells.

How calcium deficiency can lead to egg-eating behavior in chickens

Calcium is a necessity for chickens! It’s vital for the formation of strong and healthy eggshells. A deficiency can cause pecking or consuming of their own eggs. Calcium is also important for muscle contraction and relaxation, and for laying eggs. With inadequate calcium, chickens can experience reduced bone density and fragility.

To address this, eggshells are an accessible and cost-effective source. They contain high amounts of bioavailable calcium carbonate which chickens can absorb. Eggshells must only be introduced when they start laying eggs. Too early and it could disrupt their natural developmental process.

Chicken owners must understand the importance of calcium to prevent issues like egg-eating behavior. Feeding eggshells keeps their calcium needs in check. No more egg-eating prisoners!

Guidelines for Feeding Eggshells to Chickens

When it comes to feeding eggshells to chickens, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind. In this section, we’ll explore the appropriate age for chickens to start consuming eggshells, discover the steps to prepare and store eggshells for feeding, and benefit from expert advice on preventing chickens from developing a habit of eating their own eggs. These guidelines will ensure the health and well-being of your chickens while maximizing the nutritional benefits of eggshells in their diet.

Appropriate age for chickens to start consuming eggshells

Chickens should start consuming eggshells for their calcium needs at a suitable age. It is very important to ensure that they have enough calcium for proper eggshell development, which affects the quality and quantity of eggs they produce. Eggshells can be fed instead of oyster shells to meet this requirement. Nonetheless, care should be taken to stop chickens from forming an egg-eating habit.

It’s essential to observe specific preparation and storage procedures for eggshells. This involves collecting, cleaning, and drying the eggshells, then baking and crushing them for safe consumption. There are also several ways to store and offer crushed eggshells. Advice from an expert on avoiding chickens from becoming egg-eaters is also recommended.

So, when it comes to feeding eggshells to chickens, keep it clean!

Steps to prepare and store eggshells for feeding

Eggshells are important for chickens’ calcium, which is needed for health and eggshells. Preparing and storing eggshells is vital to ensure chickens get enough calcium. Here’s how:

  1. Collect, clean and dry: Use eggs, collect shells, rinse them and air dry.
  2. Bake and crush: Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C). Put shells on baking sheet, bake 10-15 minutes to kill germs. Crush with mortar and pestle or food processor.
  3. Store and offer: Store crushed shells in an airtight container. Separate dishes or containers to avoid confusion with intact eggs.
  4. Prevent egg-eating: Provide balanced diet with calcium from other sources. Offer nesting materials to lessen chance of eggs breaking, triggering egg-eating.

Calcium-rich food sources such as oyster shells and commercial feeds are good. But, taking care in preparing and storing eggshells helps ensure good egg quality and production and the health of the flock.

Expert advice on preventing chickens from developing a habit of eating their own eggs

  1. Give Adequate Calcium Supplement: Give chickens crushed eggshells or oyster shells for calcium. This will meet their nutritional needs and reduce the chance of them eating their own eggs.
  2. Stimulate the Environment: Boredom may cause chickens to eat their eggs. Provide perches, pecking toys, and outdoor areas so they can dustbathe and forage.
  3. Collect Eggs Often: Collect eggs from nesting boxes regularly. Leaving eggs unattended can tempt chickens to eat them.
  4. Disguise Real Eggshells: If chickens have fallen into the habit of eating their eggs, place fake or ceramic eggs in nesting boxes with real eggshells. When they peck at the fake eggs and get no reward, they may lose interest in real ones.

It is recommended to give eggshells as a calcium supplement when chickens reach 18-20 weeks. Starting earlier may cause shell-eating behavior. Get a poultry nutrition specialist to provide advice for your flock, to help prevent this habit. Experiences of successful prevention can be shared, showing the importance of preventive measures. Keep your chickens happy and egg quality high with these practical tips.

Safety Considerations and Practical Tips

Safety Considerations and Practical Tips

Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Daniel Adams

When it comes to feeding chickens eggshells, there are important safety considerations and practical tips to keep in mind. From exploring the proven benefits and potential risks of feeding eggshells to understanding how to differentiate between suitable and unsuitable sources, this section provides valuable insights. Additionally, we’ll discuss precautions for avoiding calcium toxicity and ensuring a balanced diet for your chickens. So, let’s dive into the essential information you need to know about feeding eggshells to your feathered friends.

Proven benefits and potential risks of feeding eggshells

Eggshells provide a natural, cost-effective calcium source for chickens. It can improve eggshell development, leading to stronger and healthier eggs. Plus, it reuses a byproduct and meets the chickens’ nutritional needs.

Comparing eggshells to oyster shells is key in deciding the best calcium supplement option. This helps farmers make informed decisions while protecting their flock’s health and productivity levels. Furthermore, sufficient calcium helps prevent egg-eating behavior.

However, there are potential risks. Farmers must be aware of improper balancing of calcium, as it can lead to toxicity. They must also consider proper storage methods and prevention techniques for the chickens’ safety.

In conclusion, eggshells offer benefits in egg quality and production. It’s essential to weigh these against the potential risks and take appropriate measures to ensure the chickens’ health and productivity. Knowing the importance of calcium intake for chicken nutrition, farmers can make informed decisions that benefit their flock.

Differentiating between suitable and unsuitable sources of eggshells

Eggshells can be diverse in terms of usefulness as a calcium source for chickens. Knowing which ones are OK and which not is key for poultry health and productivity.

Source matters if picking eggshells as a calcium supplement for chickens. Homegrown eggs are generally good, given they’ve had proper cleaning, drying and crushing.

Yet, commercially sourced eggshells may be unsuitable as they may come with contamination or chemical risk. Therefore, it’s vital to check their quality and safety before feeding them to chickens.

Precautions for avoiding calcium toxicity and maintaining a balanced diet for chickens

It’s vital to take precautions to avoid calcium toxicity and keep chickens’ diets balanced. They need the correct amount of calcium for eggshell formation and general health. Too much can lead to toxicity – a huge problem for their health.

To prevent calcium toxicity and maintain a balanced diet:

  1. Provide the right calcium levels. Too much or too little can cause imbalances, leading to deficiencies or toxicity.
  2. Carefully select calcium sources. Eggshells are great, but they must be prepared properly. Oyster shells can also be used, but only in controlled doses.
  3. Monitor dietary balance. A balanced diet with proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is necessary.
  4. Get expert advice. If unsure, consult experts or poultry nutritionists for tailored advice.

Taking the right precautions will prevent calcium toxicity and help ensure chickens are well-nourished and healthy.



Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Jeffrey Baker

In the conclusion, we will summarize the key points covered in the article about what age chickens can eat eggshells. We will highlight the importance of providing chickens with adequate calcium supplementation for their overall health and well-being. Additionally, we will address any further considerations that should be taken into account and provide additional resources for reference.

Summary of key points discussed in the article

Eggshells are a calcium powerhouse for chickens! They contribute to overall health and eggshell development. This article dives into the benefits of feeding eggshells to your feathered friends. Here’s a summary:

  1. Calcium is essential for egg quality and productivity. Feeding eggshells is a great way to meet calcium needs, resulting in stronger eggs.
  2. Oyster shells are another calcium supplement option. The article compares both and why eggshells could be a better choice.
  3. Calcium deficiency can cause chickens to eat their own eggs – yikes! Feeding eggshells helps prevent this.
  4. To feed eggshells properly, there are guidelines to follow. Age, prep, storage, and preventing egg-eating are all covered.
  5. Safety is also discussed. The article looks at the benefits and risks of feeding eggshells, plus sourcing tips.

So, don’t miss out on this helpful info about feeding eggshells to chickens! Read the entire article for an in-depth look. Implementing the right practices will result in healthier chickens and better eggs. Make sure your chickens get the calcium they need – it’s no yolk!

Emphasizing the importance of providing chickens with proper calcium supplementation

Calcium is essential for healthy chicken productivity. It helps build strong eggshells and ensures eggs are of good quality.

Feeding chickens eggshells is an easy and cost-effective way to provide them with the calcium they need. However, it’s important to prepare and feed eggshells correctly. Younger chicks should wait until the age recommended by poultry nutrition experts, and the eggshells should be cleaned, dried, baked, and crushed to avoid contamination and sharp edges that could harm them.

Additionally, it’s essential to stop chickens from eating their own eggs, as this can be detrimental to flock productivity. This article provides tips on how to discourage such behavior, as well as safety considerations when feeding eggshells.

Calcium deficiency in chickens can lead to abnormal behaviors such as cannibalism and even lower feed conversion efficiency. So, it’s important to provide them with the proper calcium supplementation they need.

Addressing any further considerations and offering additional resources for reference.

Addressing any extra considerations and providing more resources for reference is key when feeding eggshells to chickens. Considering these factors allows chicken owners to make sure their flock has the optimal health and nutrition.

It is important to understand the possible risks and benefits of feeding eggshells. This lets chicken owners make educated decisions and take precautions so adverse effects can be avoided.

Guidance on suitable sources of eggshells is a must. This info helps chicken owners avoid using contaminated or unsafe shells which could harm their flock’s health.

Offering extra resources like trustworthy articles or professional advice can give chicken owners a deeper understanding of the topic. These resources can act as reliable references for further info and guidance.

Safety considerations should also be discussed, including preventing calcium toxicity and keeping a balanced diet for chickens. This makes sure chickens get the right amount of calcium without causing negative effects on their overall health and wellbeing.

In addition to these points, it is essential to emphasize the importance of monitoring and observing chickens’ behavior and health when making any dietary changes or supplementation. This lets chicken owners promptly address any issues that may arise and adjust their approach accordingly. By doing this, they can maintain the best health and productivity of their flock while providing them with the necessary nutrients for good eggshell development.

Some Facts About What Age Can Chickens Eat Eggshells:

  • ✅ Baby chicks should not be fed eggshells as they require a specific diet to meet their growing needs. (Source: thankchickens.com)
  • ✅ Chickens over 6 months old can eat eggshells to meet their calcium demands during the laying process. (Source: thankchickens.com)
  • ✅ Feeding chickens crushed eggshells is a good way to provide them with extra calcium. (Source: fresheggsdaily.blog)
  • ✅ Feeding chickens eggshells does not lead to egg eating, but actually helps prevent it. (Source: fresheggsdaily.blog)
  • ✅ Feeding chickens eggshells is an inexpensive alternative to oyster shells as a calcium supplement. (Source: homesteadandchill.com)

FAQs about What Age Can Chickens Eat Eggshells

What age can chickens eat eggshells?

Answer: Chickens can start eating eggshells once they have started laying eggs or are close to laying. It is not recommended to feed eggshells to baby chicks as they have different dietary needs.

How does feeding eggshells benefit laying hens?

Answer: Feeding eggshells to laying hens provides them with the extra calcium they need for eggshell development. It helps prevent issues such as thin-shelled eggs and skeletal problems caused by calcium deficiency.

Is it necessary to bake eggshells before feeding them to chickens?

Answer: Baking eggshells before feeding them to chickens is not necessary, but it can help to eliminate any potential bacteria and make them easier to crush. However, some farmers have found success with simply drying the eggshells without baking.

Can feeding eggshells to chickens lead to egg-eating habits?

Answer: Feeding eggshells to chickens should not lead to egg-eating habits if the shells are crushed enough to be unrecognizable. However, it is recommended to monitor the chickens initially to ensure they don’t develop this behavior.

Can eggshells be fed to chickens along with their regular feed?

Answer: It is not recommended to mix eggshells or any calcium supplement with the chickens’ regular feed, as it can cause calcium toxicity. Eggshells should be offered separately in a dish or container for the chickens to consume freely.

What is the alternative to feeding chickens eggshells for calcium?

Answer: An alternative to feeding chickens eggshells for calcium is providing them with shell grit, which is a better source of large particle calcium. Oyster shells can also be used as a supplemental calcium source.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.