Saturday, 9 May 2015

Crushed eggshell and fresh herbs treat for chickens

This is any easy treat to make for your chickens. We always add a little of the chicken’s eggshells back into their food supply, as it boasts their calcium levels and egg supply. At the same time, we are harvesting herbs from our large vegie patch at least once a month (even during winter), meaning we have kilograms of each herb dried in the cupboard. I decided that we didn’t need to stock that much of each herb and that it would be a nice treat for the chickens.
 
Crushed egg shells contain the calcium (calcium carbonate) that chickens use to make their egg shells. My chickens prefer crushed chicken eggshells to store bought oyster shell.
Simply use the inside of the eggs for your cooking and rinse the eggshells after use. Then allow them to dry for a few days. Once they are dry you can crush them in the blender or by hand. You can also make fertiliser for the garden with your used eggshells.

Then add your dried herbs to the crushed eggshells and place in a bowl.
 

This amount lasted our 4 chickens about a week, as I only added a little bit each day to their seed in the feeder.
Fresh and dried herbs that are beneficial to chickens:
 
It is a good idea to plant out extra herbs that are beneficial to your chickens. You can use these to supplement their feed by picking leaves and tossing into the pen from time to time.
  • General poultry tonics and laying stimulants include beetroot, borage, broccoli and cauliflower leaves, chickweed, comfrey, cress, dandelion, fennel, garlic, kale, lettuce, marigold, marjoram, mint, mugwort, nasturtium, onion, parsley, radish tops, rue, sage, silver beet, spring onion tops, thyme, turnip, vervain or wormwood.
  • For intestinal worms you can be fed chooks these herbs on a regular basis. This includes cooked nettle mash, garlic and nasturtium.
  • Another recommended treatment is to add a few leaves of some of the following plants about once a month. Add to feed at a rate of about 20%. This includes elder, garlic, grated carrots, horseradish, hyssop, mustard, onions, pumpkin seeds, rue, tansy and wormwood.  
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