...then, you'll want to feed your Chicken Girls supplemental calcium so the shells of their eggs aren't thin and easily crushed.
One way to do this is to supply oyster shell sold at feed stores just for this purpose.
Trouble is my Girls won't eat it even when I mix it into their food. I have friends whose chickens won't touch it either.
There are several ways to get chickens to consume extra calcium - free range chickens need less - such as giving them a bit of dairy once in a while. Yogurt and cottage cheese are favorites with my Girls.
Sometimes I'll make a nettle or horsetail tea, cool it, and pour this into their water. Or, I'll dissolve homeopathic silica into their drinking water. Mostly, I let them free range eating bugs, worms, and grass.
This, and high-protein, laying pellets keeps them healthy and happy. Oh, and they get vegetable scraps from the kitchen and garden along with the occasional handful of collard greens.
Another way to get a little extra calcium into their diets is to recycle the Girl's egg shells.
The shells must be cleaned and crushed otherwise a chicken might realize that some pretty tasty stuff comes in her own eggs.
Once a hen makes this connection she's likely to peck and eat the contents of her eggs and those of the other hens.
Once the shells are thoroughly dry, I lay a piece of waxed paper on a cookie sheet and place the egg shells on top.
I use a rolling pin to crush the eggs, then roll over them, back and forth, until they're moderately crushed so the chickens can easily swallow them.
The waxed paper makes it easier to transfer the crushed shells into a jar or tin until you're ready to use them.
Of course, you can pulse the shells in your processor.
Crushing the shells makes them unrecognizable to the chicken. And, it recycles the calcium from the shells back into your chickens for making more eggs!
Some of my Girls will eat the crushed shells as a treat. Generally, I mix the shells in with their food for better results.
Of course, if you don't have chickens, you can recycle crushed eggs shells from the supermarket by tossing them onto your compost pile which is another feature of the Useful Garden.
Egg shells will compost more readily if broken into bits.
Recycling chicken waste (egg shells and manure) is way one way to insure that what is useful won't go to waste.