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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

10 Practical Uses for Eggshells


I normally crush up all our eggshells and feed them free-choice to our chickens as an economical way to provide them the extra calcium they need to lay eggs with nice hard shells.  But there are so many other practical uses for eggshells.


1.  Supplemental calcium source for your chickens

This is what normally ends up happening with our eggshells.  Instead of buying commercial oyster shell, try feeding crushed eggshell for your chickens' calcium requirements.  You can read HERE more about how to do it.

2.  Vegetable or flower seed starter cups 

Eggshell halves make nice cups to start seeds in. You can just plant the whole thing in the ground when you're ready to put them in the ground outside. Read HERE to learn how to do it.

3. Christmas or holiday ornaments

Eggshells are easy to blow out.  The empty shells make beautiful holiday ornaments. A bowl of blown eggs also looks pretty on your kitchen counter.  Read more HERE for decorating ideas and how-tos.

4.  Slug Control

Sprinkle a ring of crushed eggshell around your hostas and other plants to prevent slugs from munching on them. The sharp edges keep the slugs out.

5.  Instant Band-aid

Cut yourself while preparing dinner? No need to rummage for a band-aid. Just crack open an egg, peel off some membrane and wrap it around your cut. Not only will it harden and stop the blood flow, it will keep out bacteria while letting in air to allow the wound to heal.

6.  Prevent Blossom End Rot

Sprinkle crushed eggshell around your vegetables to provide them calcium carbonate. This is especially beneficial for crops like tomatoes and cucumbers that are susceptible to blossom end rot.

7.  Calcium Supplement

Rinse out eggshells (leaving the membrane) and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes, then crush into a powder using a coffee grinder. Add 1/2 teaspoon per day to orange juice or any liquid of your choice for a healthy, easily absorbed calcium supplement in your diet.

Or....rinse and crush eggshells and fill a glass jar halfway. Cover with vinegar and let sit for two weeks. Strain and then take 2 Tablespoons per day. You can use it as a salad dressing or add it to other dishes to make it more palatable.

8. Compost

Add your eggshells to your compost pile.  They break down nicely and will add much-needed calcium carbonate to your potting soil or garden come spring.

9. Mini flower pots
~photo source: pinterest.com/pin/63261569736702447/~


Plant small succulents, start bulbs or plant tiny flowers in soil in eggshell halves. Small cacti, succulents or flowers look adorable planted in half egg shells and then arranged in a cardboard carton. Use as hostess gifts, Mother's Day gifts, teacher gifts....

10.  Use as serving cups for pudding or custard


Click HERE for my recipe for easy Bruleed Vanilla Bean Custard in Duck EggShell Cups

BONUS USE FOR THE YOLKS! Hair Strengthener


Okay this isn't the shells, but it's a good use of the yolk.  Egg yolks are loaded with proteins, vitamins and fatty acids, all of which will make your hair softer, shinier and more healthy.  Whisk two egg yolks with two tablespoons of olive oil and a cup of water, then pour over your hair and massage into your scalp. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse.

What do you do with your egg shells?

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12 comments:

  1. I did not know about the bandaid use. Interesting. I have not given the eggs shells to my girls yet as I worry about them becoming egg eaters. Have you had any problems with this by feeding them the shells?

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    1. No feeding them crushed egg shells won't lead to egg eating as long as you crush them up small, not into dust but smaller than 1/4" pieces or so.

      In fact, it's thought that feeding the eggshells actually reduces the chance of them eating their own eggs because sometimes its a calcium deficiency that makes them want to peck at their eggs.

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  2. Great ideas. The use of the membrane for the bandaid is quite amazing!

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  3. Awesome! I did not know the bandaid part, either.

    Weird thing you didn't know about me? At Easter, when other people ate the boiled eggs, I would salt the shells and nibble on them....

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  4. I didn't know about the membrane either, but really good to know.

    The other day, I crushed up an egg shell and gave it to our chicks, after reading about doing that, here on your blog. They gobbled it up!

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  5. how do you crush your egg shells?, and how small do they need to be for the chickens to eat w/o hurting them ???

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    Replies
    1. Once the shells are dry you can just crush them with your fingers. I just sort of crush them against the side of the bowl I collect them in. You want them about 1/8-1/4" or so. Any larger might encourage them to try eating their own eggs and any smaller, you don't want dust, the calcium won't get absorbed by their bodies as well.

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    2. BTW Kim, you were one of the winners in the Chicken Encyclopedia book contest. Email me your mailing address to: fresheggsdaily@gmail.com

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    3. Just want to say "THANK YOU!" for all you do at FRESH EGGS DAILY! I love your site and have learned so much from you! YOU are a blessing to me AND my girls! <3

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  6. :) This is a nice post, saw the tote give away so fingers are totally crossed!

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  7. I read somewhere that you shouldn't give "store-bought" eggshells to your chickens, only the shells from eggs they laid themselves. In your opinion, is this true? As a first-time hen momma of 8 week old pullets & guineas, I've been saving these shells for my flock when they became of laying age, but have since crushed them for use in my garden.

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    Replies
    1. That is correct. You just risk introducing bacteria to them they aren't used to. I would use the store bought in the garden for sure.

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Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily
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