What Age Can Chickens Eat Egg Shells

What Age Can Chickens Eat Egg Shells?

Feeding egg shells to chickens is a great way to provide them with additional calcium, which is essential for healthy egg production. However, it is important to introduce egg shells into their diet at the right age to avoid any potential issues. So, what age can chickens eat egg shells?

Chickens can start eating egg shells at around 18 to 20 weeks of age. By this time, they have developed their adult beaks and can easily consume and digest the shells. Before 18 weeks, their beaks are not strong enough to break the shells effectively, and they may struggle to consume them.

FAQs about Feeding Egg Shells to Chickens:

1. Why do chickens need calcium?
Chickens need calcium to produce strong and healthy eggshells. Calcium deficiency can lead to thin, weak shells or even shell-less eggs.

2. Can I feed my chickens egg shells from store-bought eggs?
Yes, you can feed your chickens egg shells from store-bought eggs, but it is important to crush them into small pieces to prevent the chickens from recognizing the shells as their own eggs.

3. Should I bake the egg shells before feeding them to my chickens?
Baking the egg shells is not necessary. However, some people prefer to bake them at a low temperature to kill any potential bacteria.

4. How do I prepare the egg shells for feeding?
After washing the shells thoroughly, let them air dry. Crush them into small pieces using a mortar and pestle or a blender.

5. Can I feed my chickens egg shells every day?
Feeding egg shells once or twice a week is sufficient. Providing them in excess can lead to an imbalance in the diet.

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6. Are there any alternatives to feeding egg shells?
You can also provide calcium supplements or oyster shell grit to ensure your chickens receive enough calcium.

7. Can I feed egg shells to chicks?
No, it is not recommended to feed egg shells to chicks. They have different nutritional requirements and can benefit from a starter feed specifically formulated for their needs.

By introducing egg shells to your chickens’ diet at the right age, you can help ensure they receive the necessary calcium for healthy egg production. Remember to crush the shells and provide them in moderation to maintain a balanced diet for your feathered friends.