What to Do with Eggshells On Your Homestead

Inside: Discover the power of eggshells on the homestead. Learn how to utilize eggshells, from nourishing quail to enhancing your garden soil!

When you have a lot of chickens and quail and are eating their eggs it would only seem that you probably have a lot of eggshells as well. What do you do with all the eggshells? Compost for sure, but there are more things you can do with them around your homestead.

broken eggshells on counter

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What to Do with Eggshells On Your Homestead

Always remember to use farm-raised chicken eggs. It’s best if you know where your eggs come from because factory-farmed eggs have higher amounts of bacteria, such as salmonella than backyard chickens.

Finding ways to use old shells on the homestead is the perfect task for anyone who likes turning trash into a treasure.

I bake my shells on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Low temperature for about 10-15 minutes. I use a coffee grinder or blender to crush them up finely once cooled.

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Using Eggshells In the Garden

Did you know you can use shells to start growing your garden? They are the perfect, most affordable “container” to start your seeds in. When you go to plant your garden, squeeze the eggshell to break it up and plant it.

Eggshells contain such an abundance of calcium that they can be used almost like lime, though you would need a lot of shells to make a measurable impact. The calcium from eggshells is also welcome in garden soil, where it moderates soil acidity while providing nutrients for plants.

One of the easiest ways to use eggshells is to crush them up and add the shells to your compost. Eggshells are considered a “green” addition to your compost.

They help to add nutrients to the compost that your vegetable plants, fruit trees, and berry bushes will love.

broken eggshells on counter

Using Eggshells for Your Chickens & Quail

Chickens and quail need calcium in their diet to produce hard-shelled eggs. Crushing and feeding the eggshells back to the chickens is like giving them a calcium vitamin each day.

Some people like to purchase oyster shell supplements, but why buy supplements when their eggshells are free?

I have not had a hen, chicken, or quail, turn around and eat fresh eggs after feeding them ground-up shells. They do not make the connection between little bits of shell and the fresh eggs that they are laying.

Do Your Quail Need More Calcium?

Pest Deterrent in the Garden

Eggshells aren't just a boon for your soil; they also serve as a formidable defense against pesky garden intruders.

The jagged edges of crushed eggshells create an uncomfortable terrain for soft-bodied pests like slugs, snails, and caterpillars. When these pests encounter the sharp edges, they're deterred from crossing, protecting your precious plants from damage.

For targeted pest control, sprinkle crushed eggshells directly around plants that are prone to pest infestation. Focus on areas where slugs, snails, or caterpillars are most likely to access your plants.

cabbage worm on leaf

Being a homestead means that you have to look at things differently, and tossing eggshells in the trash or compost bin isn’t an option if they can be used elsewhere and help you save money. That’s wasteful, and eggshells aren’t just waste. They’re little treasures in the making.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I prepare eggshells for use in my garden or for feeding to my animals? To prepare eggshells, thoroughly wash and dry them to remove any remaining egg residue. Once dry, crush the eggshells into small pieces using a mortar and pestle, a rolling pin, or by pulsing them in a blender.

    Are there any risks or concerns associated with using eggshells in the garden or feeding them to animals? While eggshells are generally safe and beneficial, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Avoid using eggshells that have come into contact with raw eggs or poultry contaminated with pathogens.

    Can I compost eggshells along with other organic waste? Yes, eggshells can be composted along with other organic materials. Adding crushed eggshells to your compost pile adds valuable calcium and minerals to the compost, which in turn enriches the soil when the compost is applied to garden beds.

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