Hey there friends, happy Thursday! Today I want to share a quick, free tip that you may or may not already know about. How to use egg shells in your garden and also on your farm! I want to share how I keep my egg shells in my kitchen, how to prepare them for use, and how to store them for long term use.
First, lets talk about why egg shells are good for the garden:
Egg shells are great for garden soil, where it moderates soil acidity. They contain an abundance of calcium. I love to use egg shells when I am planting my tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. I add a small amount in the hole prior to planting. I also shake some crushed egg shells onto the top of the soil.
You can also till the egg shells into your soil, when you are preparing it for planting. You can occasionally toss out a bowl of spent shells into the garden over the winter and let them sit until you are ready to mix them in. Adding the egg shells will help add calcium to the soil, which is important for building the cell walls of the plants.
Did you know you can also give your egg shells to your chickens?
Chickens are such fun little backyard pets. We love our chickens and work our hardest to make sure we are taking good care of them. Something I really like to be mindful of, is making sure their nutrition is good. Something that can sometimes be a concern is lack of calcium. Have you ever seen an egg laid that had a soft or brittle shell? They are not getting enough calcium.
There are a couple easy fixes for this, one completely free. You can give your chickens crushed oyster shell, which also is a great addition of grit to their diet. But did you know you can also give them crushed egg shells? I provide a bowl of crushed egg shells that they can eat as needed. I am always surprised at how quickly they are eaten. Plus they are free!
I do have too say, my chickens lay some pretty strong eggs! For a while, I bought crushed oyster shells for my girls, but I have found that they really like the eggs shells, and my concern of them developing a like for eating eggs has not happened.
I don’t really know if there is a connection between the two, but I take a few precautions to make sure they do not develop the taste for eggs. We will talk about that in a minute.
First, lets talk about how I store my egg shells in my kitchen:
Before I prepare my egg shells for the garden or for the chickens, I like to build up a decent amount that I can process at one time. I have a large basket that holds my fresh eggs on my counter, and I also have a ceramic bowl that sits on my counter. As I use my eggs, I wash my shells and toss them in the bowl. Once the bowl is filled up, I prepare them for use in the garden and chicken coop.
How to process eggshells for use:
This is a really simple process. I preheat my oven to 250 degrees. Lay out a sheet pan and spread the egg shells onto the pan. Don’t worry about crushing them up yet. Bake them in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Once they are done baking, pull them out and let them cool for a couple minutes. Now its time to crush them up. I like to use my rolling pin to crush them into a small pieces.
I do this especially for the chickens, so they are small enough for them to eat. Once they are all crushed up, I pour them into a mason jar and store them in my kitchen. I can them take them out whenever they are needed and use them in the garden or give some to the chickens.
I love that I can reuse my shells and use them around the farm and garden for different uses.
Plus they look so very cute sitting on my kitchen shelves. The colors of brown, green and blue all mixed together in a cute mason jar make them look like they are part of the decor anyways!
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