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Useful Things to Do with Eggshells

How to use eggshells

Hopefully, your backyard flock of poultry is paying dividends now with daily gifts of healthy protein.  If you are fortunate, you are now spoiled by the delicious difference between anemic store-bought battery hen eggs and golden-yolked, nutrient-dense free range chicken eggs.

But what to do with all those eggshells?

One of the things that preparedness minded people give thought to is what to do with their trash, or at least how to make less of it.  Eggshells are completely natural and need never end up in the trash at all.

Here are some great alternatives:

  1. Toss them on the compost pile.  They are a great source of calcium and other minerals that will improve the nutrient level of your resulting compost.  Tomatoes need a certain amount to calcium to prevent blossom end rot, for example.
  2. “Sweeten” your vermicompost.  Worms are somewhat sensitive to an acidic environment.  Adding the shells will help keep the pH level high enough for them to thrive.
  3. If they are “clean,” crush them and add them back to the chickens’ feed.  (Some people boil or bake them to be sure they are carrying no pathogens to the flock).  Hens need a lot of calcium and this is really just recycling.  If the birds can get into your compost, they will pull them out and eat them anyway.
  4. Use them directly in the garden to deter pests (like slugs, but also deer who are reported to dislike the smell of eggs).  The sharp edges will be hard on the soft-bodies of many would-be plant eaters.
  5. Apply the membrane to skin irritations and cuts for protection and speed in healing.

For more ideas, check this site, and this site, and this one, too.

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6 Comments on “Useful Things to Do with Eggshells”

  1. Melinda Says:

    We use egg shells to start our vegetable and herb seeds in them. Just like a tiny little flower pot. When the plant is ready to go outside, just crush the egg shell a little and plant the whole thing in your garden.

    Reply

  2. dnash1974 Says:

    Baking them is a great idea, I have just been crushing them up and feeding them back, but I think I will start baking them first as you suggested.

    Reply

  3. Jenn Collins (@MBJunction) Says:

    My mom always put a freshly cracked eggshell in the bottom of her watering can for watering the houseplants. She said the nutrients were good for the houseplants. I believe her – she always had great plants.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Do You Have What it Takes to Raise Backyard Chickens? | PreppingToSurvive.com - March 6, 2012

    […] Useful Things to do with Eggshells […]

  2. How Old Are Your Chickens (and Why It Matters)? | PreppingToSurvive.com - November 19, 2012

    […] Useful Things to Do with Eggshells […]

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