Are the egg shells of the backyard chickens you're raising healthy and strong? If not, you may need to start feeding them extra calcium. Follow this tutorial for how to make this DIY egg shell calcium.
To make your own DIY egg shell calcium supplement for your chickens, start by collecting all of your egg shells in a bowl until you have a good amount. We eat a lot of eggs, so they accumulate fast.
You can either leave them in big pieces, or you can crush them down a bit. Either way works. The girls think it's fun to crush the shells, so they usually get crushed a bit first in our house.
Next, spread the egg shells out on a baking pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes. I use the toaster oven. This will kill any germs that may have formed in the shell, but it also makes it so much easier to break down the shells.
Once your egg shells have been baked, use a meat tenderizer or another kitchen tool to break the shells down into nibble-sized bites. You don't want to chickens to associate this DIY egg shell calcium supplement with egg shells so it needs to be small. However, they also need to be able to pick the pieces up with their beaks, so don't pulverize the shells to a powder either.
A lot of people like to keep their DIY egg shell calcium supplement in a bowl next to their chickens' food. I prefer to scatter them around on the ground so the chickens have something to do with themselves. Either way, don't mix it in with their food. They need to choose to eat it. Surprisingly, chickens are smart about what their bodies need and will only eat the DIY egg shell calcium supplement if their bodies need it.
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