While a complete layer feed is best for your laying hens, feeding eggs back to your chickens is a healthy treat that they’ll love. And we’re going to show you how to easily boost your flock’s calcium intake at the same time.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, Vitamins A and E, and beta carotene. That’s one of the reasons many of us raise chickens!
The ancestors of the chickens we raise today were Asian jungle fowl that typically would lay about 12 eggs a year. Over the last couple of hundred years, we’ve developed breeds that lay about 300 eggs a year, and sometimes more. This makes it important to ensure that the nutrients a hen loses through eggs production are replenished. And doesn’t it make sense to give her back those same exact nutrients?
That’s where cooked eggs come in. You don’t want to feed your chicken raw eggs, as that could encourage them to eat their own eggs before you have a chance to collect them. Cooking the eggs makes them look and taste different enough that your flock won’t associate them with the eggs they lay.
If your eggs have shells that are thin or soft, your flock likely needs more calcium. You can make crushed oyster shells available, or you can feed them eggshells. You may have seen different methods for drying and crushing eggshells, but we have a way to feed your chickens the eggs they love with the extra boost of calcium that their shells provide.
Place whole eggs in your blender. You don’t even have to break them, just drop them in. We use about one egg per chicken.
Place the cover on and blend for 10 seconds or so. Have your pan ready, because you’ll want to pour the mixture in before the eggshells settle to the bottom of the pitcher. You may wish to use cooking spray to prevent the eggs from sticking to the pan.
Start scramblin’! Break up any chunks of eggshells as you go. When they’re done, be sure the eggs are cool before serving.
As healthy as eggs are, they should be used as an occasional treat, like any other treats you give your flock. Their commercial feed gives them all of the nutrients they need, and shouldn’t be replaced by too many treats, scratch, or table scraps. Chicks and growing hens should receive treats even more sparingly if at all. Too much calcium can cause kidney damage in a non-laying hen, so adding eggshells to their scrambled eggs is not necessary.
More more information on nutrition for laying hens, read “Feeding Chickens for Egg Production,” by Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky.