We own a small flock of backyard chickens for laying eggs. And boy, are we ever getting an abundance of eggs during this early spring season!
As we learn the in and outs of raising chickens, we also strive to utilize every aspect of them as possible. From Letting Chickens Till Our Garden, to saving their manure for compost material, and so on. There are many more ways to make them useful aside from eating their delicious eggs.
One new method of ‘waste not, want not’ that we’re putting into practice is saving the egg shells for calcium powder. We have a few different ideas of how we want to utilize this powder around the homestead and in our own bodies, but we’ll get into those details in a bit.
Want more info on backyard chickens? Check out these additional blog posts: We Built an A Frame Chicken Tractor, How to Keep Chicken Eggs from Freezing, Everything You Need to Bring Chicks Home, Do Chickens Need a Heat Lamp?, and more!
Learn how to make an inexpensive calcium powder with eggshells. Don’t just throw those shells out! Put them to use in multiple different ways: for your body, in the garden, or fed to chickens. I explain exactly how to make them into a useful powder and how to use them in the before-mentioned ways. More info on chickens is listed at the very end of this post!
Why You Should Save Eggshells for Powder
Eggshells are one of the best, cheapest, and most bioavailable sources of calcium out there. We all use eggs in our home, so why not save them for a DIY calcium powder? With only a few eggshells and a blender, you’ll soon be on your way to saving this valuable nutrient rather than throwing it away.
Calcium powder can be used in so many different ways, but we’ll discuss a few of them in more detail in a bit. For now, let’s discuss how to make eggshells into a powder.
How to Make Eggshell Powder
I’ve found that it is much easier to stockpile eggshells and make one large batch of powder instead of lots of little amounts at a time. We keep a big bowl in the kitchen dedicated for saving all the eggshells in. You can also store them in the fridge.
Just make sure to rinse them out first!
Will They Smell?
I’ve never had any issue with my eggshells smelling as I am storing them for later. We make a batch of calcium powder about once every other week, so they don’t sit for an extremely long amount of time. You can also store them in the freezer if you need a long amount of time to accrue more shells.
Add the shells in a medium to large size sauce pan and cover with water. Boil them for 15 minutes to completely sterilize.
Dry Them Out
Place all of the shells on a large baking sheet. Bake at 225 degrees F for 20 minutes in order to dry them out.
Grind Them Up
Fill a blender with eggshells and process until the solution is a very fine powder. Continue adding more eggshells as room allows in the blender.
Uses for Eggshell Powder
For Your Body
Add 1/2 tsp of eggshell powder to smoothies, juice, soups, stock, and much more for an extra dose of calcium for your body!
Calcium is found in leafy greens and broccoli, but you’d have to eat a whole bunch of those veggies in order to see a noticeable difference. Over-the-counter calcium supplements are another option, but not as good for you as whole foods are!
Eggshells offer a whole food calcium supplement for your body, making it easier for the body to absorb than over-the-counter supplements. So, why not use them as such rather than tossing them in the trash? Why pay a pretty price for calcium supplements when eggshells are extremely inexpensive?
In the Garden
Eggshells are mainly made up of the calcium carbonate (which is the carbonic salt of calcium), and calcium is an essential ingredient for giving your garden soil what it needs to nourish plant life. That makes eggshells an excellent source of the calcium your garden beds are wishing for.
Calcium aids in strengthening the cell walls of plants, so this homemade fertilizer can supply you with stronger plants!
Keep in mind that eggshells can take quite a while to fully break down in the soil, so don’t expect to see the benefits right away. Be diligent now and the rewards will come in future gardening seasons!
If you’re like me, you can’t always keep up with the pest problems that come with gardening, but you also really dislike spraying harsh chemicals on the food you’re growing for your family.
Calcium powder is a natural option for keeping some pests at bay. Slugs, beetles, and worms will be affected the most by eggshell powder. The tiny bits of powder find their way under the shells of beetles and skin of slugs and worms, acting like shards of glass that will eventually kill them.
Simply sprinkle the plants and surrounding soil with a layer of powder.
Giving chickens eggshell powder in their feed…this is a widely debated topic. Should it be done, or will it turn my flock into egg-eating crazies?
I encourage you to do some additional research on this discussion because I am no expert! I’d simply like to supply you with the knowledge of how you can use eggshells for chickens and allow you to decide if it’s worth a go for your flock or not.
Simply spread the mixture on the ground or leave it in a bowl next to their normal food container. Chickens are surprisingly smart about what their bodies need, so they will consume the calcium if they actually need it. Avoid mixing it into their food so that they won’t eat it if they don’t need it in their diet.
Other Calcium Sources for Chickens
Eggshells are not the only source of calcium that you can give to chickens. It is, perhaps, the cheapest option out there, but others do exist as well! Here are a few more calcium options you can utilize if you’re not a fan of feeding your chickens eggshells:
- Oyster shells
- Dairy products
- Veggie scraps
More on Chickens:
- All About Storing Fresh Chicken Eggs
- Do Chickens Need a Heat Lamp?
- Letting Chickens Till Our Garden
- All About Our Breeds of Chickens
- We Built an A Frame Chicken Tractor
- Everything You Need to Bring Chicks Home