About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Creative way to recycle eggshells

Cornell Lab of Ornithology and other scientists believe that pollution depletes calcium carbonate in the environment which results in a reduced population of some songbirds.

Eggshells are about 95% calcium carbonate. You can give birds additional natural calcium, especially in the spring when females need it to produce their own eggs, by mixing eggshells with your seed.

Rinse the eggshells and put them in a bag in the freezer. When you have a lot stored up, spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to make them safe for bird consumption. Have fun smashing the shells into pieces and scatter on a platform feeder or mix with your seed.

Putting eggshells on the menu may even attract species that don’t usually come to seed feeders, like orioles, gnatcatchers, and some species of wood warblers.

And for gardeners, eggshells around the base of plants deters snails and slugs from crossing the sharp eggshells barrier to reach your plants. It also boosts the nutrients in the soil and can be mixed together with dried coffee grounds, which provides a high content of nitrogen, to keep your plants healthy.


Pickwick said...

Thanks for that.

Can you please advise me is it okay to give egg shells, treated for birds as you've described, to the chickens that have laid them?

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

I don't know much about chickens but I do know that wild birds often eat their own egg shells. I would assume it's OK but I would ask an expert with knowledge about chickens. Sarah

eisseb ybhsa said...

I am wondering why I need to wash the egg shells ?

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

The biggest health risk associated with eggs is being exposed to Salmonella bacteria. Most types of Salmonella grow in the intestinal tracts of animals and are passed through their feces. Eggshells are almost entirely composed of tiny calcium carbonate crystals. Though an eggshell appears solid to the naked eye, it has as many as 8,000 microscopic pores between the crystals forming the shell. These tiny pores allow for the transfer of moisture, gases and bacteria (e.g. Salmonella) between the inner and outer eggshell.