Eggland's Best patents eggs, inspires deep questions about eggshells

Photo: Svetlana-Cherruty (iStock)

Learn about Eggland's best eggs, stay looking for some strange information I'm going to share about chickens eating their own eggshells. (If it's not an exciting cliffhanger, I do not know what it is.)

First, the news: Eggland's Best today announced it has received another patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office for its production methods producing a "more nutritious shell egg". If you are wondering about the term "shell egg" from the press release, "Is just a phrase that distinguishes an egg in a shell from other egg-based products like powdered eggs or powdered eggs. Eggland's Best continues by asserting that all the nutritional benefits of its eggs, including high levels of vitamins D, E and B12, as well as a lower cholesterol than ordinary eggs, result from its' food of "healthy grains, canola oil and a healthy supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, kelp and vitamin E." That makes sense: what a chicken eats affects the nutritional quality of its eggs, but did you know that what a chicken eats also affects the quality of its shell?

Discussion of this new shell Take away staff talking about egg shells, and me, the only owner of the chicken, we answered many questions.

Can you feed oyster shells crushed with hens to improve the quality of their eggshells?
Yes. While most high-quality commercial chicken feeds contain enough minerals for good eggshell production, some homeowners provide them with ground oyster shells to bring more calcium into the hen's diet. Calcium is a prerequisite for the creation of eggshells. Therefore, if a hen does not get enough of it in her diet, her eggs may be weak or strange in shape. Chickens can also receive more calcium by eating their own eggshells.

Wait, chickens can eat their own eggs?
Yes. Many books on barnyard chicken indicate that homeowners can wash and dry eggshells and feed them to chickens as a source of calcium and other minerals.

Whoa, chicken cannibalism!
Kinda. The shells must not contain eggs, firstly because there is a risk of bacteria proliferation on still wet egg shells, and secondly, because the egg residues left in the shell could encourage the eggs. chickens to attack and eat their own eggs after laying them.

Ahhhhhhhh! Bizarre!
Yes, this ("eating induced eggs") is something that happens sometimes. The chicken farmyard book explains the problem: "Egg-eaters, once they have acquired the habit, are hard to stop; and they will eat good and bad shell eggs. Even worse, the vise spreads quickly from one hen to the other. To avoid this, homeowners are encouraged to quickly remove eggs from nests after laying and not feed their chickens with wet eggshells.

So, uh, are there any other questions about the chicken or eggshell that I can answer for you?

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