Whenever we break an egg, the shell is saved in an open container for future processing. But although we eat eggs every day and I save them year round, it just isn't enough for what my hens will eat as I feed it to them year round too.
While working at the hospital, I mention to my colleagues that I re-cycle egg shells and feed them to my canaries. I further tell them that I need many more shells and that my choice hens who are privileged to get fresh hen egg shells are so happy and appreciative to have them. And feeding them egg shells means that their eggs will have a strong surface to support the development of a fertilized egg to a baby chick.
And are they ever amazed to learn that it only takes two weeks from the time a good egg is laid till the chick hatches. But if the shell is not strong, the chick inside dries out and dies inside the egg without any chance for life. If time permits, I pull up the blog and show them some canary pictures and explain the importance of not letting the various breeds become extinct.
Convinced then that this is a worthy cause and certainly sounds like something they can do, I make a direct request to please save shells for my hens so that all hens can have a plentiful supply so that when they lay fertile eggs, their eggs will have the same chance to produce healthy chicks.
After my plea, many will save them for me in an open container but a few want to package them tightly in used bread sack or Ziploc bags. If they want to put them in a tight container, they are instructed to place them on a paper towel and microwave 1 -2 minute or till they see a hint of browning inside the egg to prevent any residual wet egg white from spoiling.
Pat, a work colleague, recently had her vegetarian son staying with her for a week. Where she normally brings in a small bag of egg shells every couple weeks, she brought me this full large size bag collected during his short visit. Now I am wondering if I know any vegetarians??
Any that smell when I open them, are discarded. If the eggs have been microwaved, I give them another microwaving minute to make sure they are not contaminated. Here are some egg shells after microwaving.
The microwaved shells are then place in the food processor. I use any egg shell, some are even brown or bluish.
Once processed, the egg shells are ready for feeding. When I have plenty, I feed in separate dishes but when I am short, I top off the digestible mineral dish with a spoon of egg shells. The hens prefer the egg shells to purchased mineral grit and promptly clean the egg shells up each day.
Some of my bird friends, approach small locally opened restaurants and collect from them periodically. So far my friends have kept me well supplied. Another proof that you can't have to many friends!!