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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Calcium Supplements Aren't Just for Humans

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Did you know that our feathered friends need calcium in their diet, too?  And that you can provide it for them with very little effort?

 "A dry chicken eggshell is about 78-94% calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Calcium carbonate gives shells hardness and strength."

You can supplement calcium by offering dry, sterilized, crumbled chicken eggshells (or crushed oyster shells which can be found at your local feed store) mixed in with mealworms, birdseed, suet, or simply spread on the ground, a rock, a platform feeder.  As a matter of fact, if you are supplying mealworms, your birds will need a calcium supplement because mealworms deplete calcium!

Spring is an essential time of year to begin offering eggshells as an assist to breeding females to ensure strong and healthy eggshells.  Throughout the summer, providing eggshells benefits both young and adult birds. "Calcium deficiency can cause developmental problems in growing birds. Lack of calcium can cause weak bones in adults."

To learn more, visit:  http://www.sialis.org/calcium.htm.

19 comments:

Linda Reeder said...

I remember long ago we fed oyster shell to the chickens!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: How nice to share this with us less experienced feeders.

Carver said...

Great information for nature notes.

Caron said...

NO WAY! This is such a simple idea. I like learning things like this and I'll try it out.

Susan said...

Hey Karen! I love coming here and learning so much, thanks for spreading your knowledge - the birdies thank you too! I'm going to try this tomorrow. I'm assuming that eggshells can be sterized by boiling? we love hard-boiled eggs so that'll be a cinch. I'll check out your link too. Also have a quick favor. Can you check out my friend Marlene's post, link below, about a moth (I think it's a moth) she photographed? I told her I'd contact you - thanks!

http://marlenes-musings.blogspot.com/2010/04/natures-visit.html

Rosidah Abidin said...

Thanks for sharing the great tip. Have a wonderful day :)

Suzi Smith said...

Thank you for that... I never knew. So easy to do as well!

Carrie P. said...

This is very interesting. I wonder if that has anything to do with the male bluebird that has a short tail. This year a male has claimed our birdhouse and his tail is much shorter than I have seen on bluebirds before. I know they eat mealworms even though I don't provide them.

eileeninmd said...

Great info on the much needed calcium for the birds. I have heard about offering eggshells to the birds.

Kay said...

I've heard of this but haven't been doing it. Thanks for the reminder, Karen! I learn something in every one of your posts.
Kay

John said...

Hi karen,

Thank you for posting this excellent piece. My family used to offer crushed egg shells to the birds, I thought they were mad, until I read up on it.

John

Wren said...

I've heard of feeding egg shells to the birds, but not done it myself. I didn't know that fact about mealworms, either. Thanks for a very informative note.

ramblingwoods.com said...

This is such important information and something i need to do...michelle

EG Wow said...

That is sooo interesting! It never occurred to me to offer the birds calcium!

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Denise said...

Great information. I'm going to book mark this post.

Glennis said...

But feeding chickens egg shells might result in them starting to eat the eggs too. Mightn't it?

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

You always have so many interesting tips on your blog! We have a lot of birds around our place (mainly eating the olives off the tree!)

Short Poems said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing with us!