It is a shame to make an omelet in the morning and throw away those perfectly good egg shells you have left over. To some, throwing the eggs away makes sense as they are seen to them as waste. To others, those egg shells are seen as precious items with a plethora of uses and wasting them seems like a shame. Whichever you prefer, be it tossing them or keeping them to reuse, here are some possibilities for utilizing egg shells once breakfast is over that you may wish to consider.
1. Egg shells provide additional calcium. You can crush them up and feed them to your chickens to in turn increase the chickens' ability to lay hard, strong eggs. Rather than buy a commercial product for your chickens to get the calcium they need, take advantage of an economical calcium source provided to you by your chickens. You can also use egg shells to enhance your own calcium intake. Rinse egg shells out and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes to kill any germs and once they are dry, grind them into a fine powder. Add this powder to your meals or beverages at a rate of half of a teaspoon each day and your calcium intake will be much improved.
2. Egg shells have multiple uses when it comes to gardening, such as pest control. Crush egg shells and place them in the soil around plants to discourage pests. The sharp edges of egg shells are especially effective against slugs. Placing crushed egg shells around garden crops also enriches the soil by providing calcium carbonate, which is excellent for vegetables that are prone to blossom end rot.
3. If you are just starting a garden instead of caring for an established one, begin sprouting your seeds in egg shells. Due to the small size of egg shells, they are perfect for starting to grow seeds without using an excess of soil. Simply pot seeds in egg shells and sit them upright in the carton until they sprout, then transplant them into your actual garden, shell and all.
4. If you still have more egg shells on your hands, toss them in your compost pile! Calcium carbonate will again be added to your soil, enhancing its quality. When it comes time to use that compost, it will be ready to nourish your plants and have a built-in pest deterrent already in place.
5. If at the end of a long, productive day of finding uses for egg shells you wind up wounded, use an egg shell to tend to that wound! Band-Aids may be the typical first aid go-to, but there is an egg shell remedy that can be used as well. Simply crack an egg and peel some membrane free, then wrap it around cuts or scrapes. It will bond to your finger by hardening and block entry to the wound by bacteria.
They may be called the 'incredible, edible egg' but both eggs and their shells have much more to offer than as food items. While the egg itself eases our hunger pains and quiets our rumbling stomachs, the shell can go on to provide nourishment to us, our chickens, and the soil in which we grow other food items as well. If ever there were a food item that needs a pay raise based on accomplishment, surely that food item is the egg!