8 Uses for Eggshells

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If you’re a chicken owner, you may be thinking that there has to be a use for all. these. eggshells. Great news: there is! In fact, there are numerous ways to recycle your eggshells and get even more value from them with less waste. Here are 8 uses for eggshells, so you can make the most out of each one!

What nutrients are in eggshells?

Eggshells are packed with valuable vitamins and nutrients. They’re high in calcium, but they also contain other minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

A lot of people know that eggshells are handy for fertilizing your garden and strengthening your compost pile, but did you know that they have lots of other uses, too?

What plants like eggshells?

One of the most common uses for eggshells is as a fertilizer. There are a number of plants that thrive on the calcium found in eggshells, but some plants prefer it more than others. Here are some of the plants that especially like eggshells:

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Pepper
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Swiss chard

Keep reading to find out how to fertilize your plants with eggshells.

8 uses for eggshells

Here are just a few ways that you can reuse your eggshells on your homestead.

1. Plant fertilizer

Eggshells are an inexpensive, natural fertilizer for your garden. To make a fertilizer tea, boil a gallon of water, then add 10 clean, dry eggshells. Let sit overnight, then strain the water. Next, pour the water concentrate on your soil to give your plants a calcium and potassium boost!

If you prefer not to make eggshell tea, you can also simply crush the eggshells. To do this, grind with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle to make them into a fine powder. Then, sprinkle them over your soil and till. If you use this method, it’s best to spread your eggshells in the fall, since they take several months to break down and be absorbed by your plants.

2. Start seeds in eggshells

Eggshells are a perfect, natural little container to start your seedlings in. Set your eggshells in your egg carton and put it in a well-lit place. When it comes time to plant your seedlings, you can stick the entire eggshell with your seedling in the garden and let the shell decompose. Check out the full instructions for how to start seeds in eggshells.

3. Feed them to your chickens

It might feel weird at first, but feeding eggshells back to your hens boosts their calcium and in turn helps them produce more healthy, strong eggs.

If a hen doesn’t have enough calcium, her eggshells can become weak, and can sometimes even become stuck in the oviduct, leading to health issues for the bird.

Using oyster shells is another way to boost a chicken’s calcium — but why buy oyster shells when you could supplement with eggshells that you already have on hand?

4. Pest deterrent

Sprinkle the eggshells around your garden to deter crawling pests, like slugs and snails. These little guys don’t like to crawl over the sharp shells.

Eggshells are organic, free, and easy!

5. Compost them

If you want to find a good use for your eggshells but don’t have a lot of time, just toss them into the compost pile. They’ll add calcium to your compost as they break down.

You can throw your eggshells into your compost pile whole, or you can dry and crush them before adding to your compost to help them break down more quickly.

6. House plant fertilizer

Your outdoor garden plants aren’t the only ones who can benefit from eggshell fertilizer. You can also use them in place of a store-bought fertilizer to enrich the soil of your houseplants.

To do this, wash your eggshells and then grind them into a powder using the tool of your choice (coffee grinder, food processor, blender, mortar and pestle, etc.). Then, sprinkle a few pinches on your houseplant (you can add more if it’s a larger plant). It’s best to do this right before you water, as the water will help the plant absorb the ground eggshell. When you’re finished, store your extra grounds in a jar or reusable container.

7. Wild bird treat

Do you love attracting wild birds to your backyard? Calcium-rich eggshells are an effective, little-known trick to bring in the birds! First, rinse off your eggshells. Then, bake them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. After this, crumble them and spread them on a rock, deck rail, or bird feeder.

8. Coffee mellower

It may sound strange, but eggshells can actually improve the flavor of your coffee. Eggshells make coffee taste less bitter by taking away some of its acidity.

First, clean your eggshells well using hot water. Then, crush them until they are small enough to mix into the coffee grounds. After that, put them in with your grounds and brew your coffee as normal.

1 eggshell for 4 cups of coffee is a good ratio to start. If it turns out too mellow for your liking, use less eggshell next time.

What are your favorite uses for eggshells?

Have you tried any of these uses for your extra eggshells? If so, which do you like best? Do you have any other favorite uses for eggshells? 

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