We take the advice of many sites to offer calcium supplements – crushed oyster shells and crushed eggshells to our laying hens. Laying hens who aren’t getting enough calcium can begin producing weak or irregularly shaped eggs–even eggs with soft shells!
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My Pet Chicken advises: If your hens have a good, “complete” layer feed, they may not ever need oyster shells or any supplemental calcium! However, it never hurts and helps avoid potential pitfalls in a number of ways. Oyster shell is inexpensive and chicken keepers have lots of free egg shells!

We microwave eggshells to kill any bacteria on the shells, and make sure they are crushed finely enough that they don’t look like eggs so the hens don’t learn to eat their eggs. Our calcium feeder has two compartments- one for oyster shells and another for finely crushed egg shells. You can see from the pictures below that the hens prefer the crushed eggshells!
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