can chickens eat lobster shells

Can Your Chickens Scoff Down Lobster Shells?



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I’ll never forget the time I tried to serve my chickens a fancy feast fit for a king – or in this case, a lobster. You’re not gonna believe what happened next!

Yes, chickens can and will eat lobster shells safely.

However, moderation is key as too many shells could cause digestive issues.

It all started on a beautiful summer day last year.

I was craving some fresh lobster and thought – why not share the wealth with my gang of girls out back? They’re always gobbling up whatever scraps I toss their way.

How much different could lobster shells be?

Why Chickens Love Shellfish Shells

can chickens eat lobster shells

Chickens have quite the savage instinct when it comes to foraging that lets them crack open tough shells with ease.

Their beaks are built like tiny picks, perfect for shattering the exoskeleton of all sorts of critters and unleashing the nutritious morsels inside.

The calcium in shells helps strengthen their own egg shells so when Fiona lays an omelette, you can bet it’ll stand tall.

Plus all that calcium builds strong, sturdy bones to help the hens hack through the turf with gusto each day as they scratch for bugs.

The protein packed into shells and leftovers stuck inside gives the girls an energy boost so they can crow and cluck all day without running out of steam.

Shells are also a natural way for the ladies to stay busy, using their beaks as tools to pry open each shell shard one by one for a tasty treat inside.

It keeps them sharpens their instincts to seek, crack and snack so come winter, they’ll be crack foragers hunting every nook for morsels when times get lean out in the coop.

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Amount to Feed Chickens Lobster Shells

can chickens eat lobster shells

My birds tend to be a rowdy bunch so I only give each girl one shell to start since I’ve seen some serious mosh pit energy over sharing before.

Any more than a shell or two each and their crops could get packed tight as a sardine tin, making it tougher to digest all that shell material.

I like to dole out the shells on Tuesdays and Fridays as a special treat so their systems gets time to fully break it all down before the next serving.

any more than that and little Matilda could end up with a bad case of the runs that’ll leave her tuckered out for days if she’s not careful.

The shells are meant to be an occasional snack, not a daily dinner item, so mind those portion sizes to keep your flock feeling its best.

What Happened When I Fed My Chickens Lobster

can chickens eat lobster shells

Those ladies turned into a pack of wild animals the second they spotted the lobster shells hit the dirt!

Feathers were a-flying as they scrambled and scrapped in a tangle of claws and beaks to get their pick of the platter.

Beatrice, always the bold one, straight up swallowed a whole claw in one gulp like it was nothing!

The mini mob scene was equal parts hilarious and horrifying as I worried a few birds might get hurt in the chaos.

But once they tore into the shells, the carnage calmed and each hen set to munching her claimed prize in the dust.

This just proved shellfish is like crack-cocaine for chickens and they’ll gang up rabidly for even a morsel of the good stuff.

I think they may have learned to prefer a life of lobster over mere grains after getting a taste of the fine dining feast!

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The message? Start slow and watch those wild chickens when serving anything fancier than usual!

How to Serve Lobster Shells Safely

It’s best to remove any sharp bits or points from the shells that could injury the chicks.

Use kitchen shears or pliers to carefully cut off any particularly pointy parts that could pose a hazard.

Check the shells thoroughly for any remaining meat scraps the ladies might choke on if too big of a piece.

Opt to crack shells further into smaller shards about the size of a nickel or dime for easier snacking.

Scatter the prepped shells across the yard and keep an eye out at first to ensure no squabbles get too rough.

Shells are a real treat so go slowly introducing them to avoid any tummy troubles from overindulging.

Shelter shall also suffice if it’s a rainy day – just spread the shells about inside instead of the great outdoors.

Common Questions About Feeding Lobster to Chickens

“Are there any risks to my chickens’ health from leftovers?”

In moderation lobster shells pose no threat but like many human foods too much can cause an upset crop.

“How do I introduce shells gradually without a flock frenzy?”

Start by only giving one or two birds a shell at first to see their reaction before expanding treats to the whole group.

“Will shells provide enough nutrients or do they still need scratch?”

Shells alone lack balance – they need access to typical feed, grit, calcium supplements and clean water daily for health.

“I live near the coast – can wild shells cause issues?”

best to avoid shells directly from the beaches to prevent potential trace contaminants contact from water runoff or pollution.

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“What’s the best way to store leftover shells for future feedings?”

Air tight containers in the freezer keep shells fresher longer than the fridge – just thaw before serving.

Signs Your Chickens Ate Too Many Shells

Loose watery droppings could mean crops are taxed from too much indigestible material.

Lethargy or less active than normal is another signal of potential tummy troubles brewing.

Bulging bellies appearing uncomfortably distended after eating is always cause for concern.

Loss of appetite when normally ravenous points to unpleasant digestive distress.

Sneezing or nasal discharge could indicate a shell scratched the respiratory system on the way down.

Seek veterinary help if issues persist over 24 hours rather than waiting it out.

Prevention through moderation is key to keep your coop crew feeling their best.

Best Ways to Use Leftover Lobster Meat

Any meat picked from the shells gets finely chopped and mixed into their standard feed.

A splash of meat in their waterer becomes a flavorful broth sip to please even the pickiest palate.

Dollop a bit of meat onto scraps like veggies or bread bits for an extra enticing nibble.

Mush the meat into mealworms or worm cubes bound to be a favorite funky finger food treat.

On special Saturdays, toss a few juicy morsels of meat directly into the yard to watch them battle.

Your chickens will come to anticipate “Lobster Saturday” as a highlight of their week each and every time.

With creativity, even meat scraps can become marvelous feed additions beyond plain old scratch.

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