Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 8 years ago
Most sea shells are very high in calcium. The ground oyster shells are fed to poultry because they need the calcium to produce their own egg shells. To be useful as a soil amendment, I would think they would need to be ground very finely (or pass through a hen's craw). The clam shells should work just as well as the oyster shells for providing poultry with their needed calcium.
I just stomp on crab shells to break them up a bit and throw to the chickens. What they don't eat disappears into the litter and ends up in the garden next year.....softer stuff like shrimp shells they devour voraciously.....Clams and oysters are like rocks though.....might as well join the other gravel in the driveway...
Hi, I live in the middle of the USA, we do not have much access to shells of any kind, so we go and buy oyster shells for the chickens, we are kind of stingy with them and put them in a pan for the chickens to have free choice to when ever they want, we try to keep them from being kicked out and wasted, just because we have to buy them in 50 pound bags.
I do notice that the chickens do not eat much of these during the summer when they are out eating bugs and such, but in the winter when the ground is frozen they eat more.
I wonder if you have a lot of these if you could market them to the people who do not have much access to such items??
Location: northern California
posted 8 years ago
I have found that crushing eggshells and feeding them back works fine....just be sure to crush them so they don't recognize them as eggshells and then start eating eggs (a problem for which there is only one solution!) I've also mixed a bit of ordinary agricultural lime and/or wood ashes into their feed.....never had a problem with soft-shell eggs.....
I break up clam shells with a couple flat rocks and leave the piles for the chickens. They eat the pieces they want and leave the bigger ones for a second crushing. I assume that they get pretty much ground to dust in the chicken and then "distributed" around the yard adding to the soil nutrients. I do the same with crab, lobster, snail, oyster etc...
In a pinch I'll boil the chicken eggshells and then dry and crush them to bits. That way the chickens can't ID them by sight or smell/taste.
Leaving crushed shells for poultry sounds like a good idea. If you have more shells than that, I would think you could use them for mulch anywhere you use rock. As the rain passes over rock it breaks down the minerals and adds it back into the soil. Theoretically, it would do the same thing to the shells.