To regular folks, eggshells are merely trash. But to homesteading families, preppers, and survivalists, they offer a bounty of essentials uses around the farm. Even a small flock of chickens or ducks will produce an incredibly large amount of eggshells to use on and around the homestead – saving you money now and providing a renewable resource after a SHTF scenario happens.
There are about 750 to 800 milligrams of calcium in every medium-sized eggshell. The easily accessible shells are simply too valuable of a resource to be carelessly tossed into the trash! When eggshells are used for edible human remedies, they must at least be cleaned thoroughly. Pasteurizing the eggshells is the best way to prevent the possibility of salmonella being spread – and the process is actually quite easy. Put the eggshells onto a baking sheet – no need to crush them up, and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
I am not a medical professional of any type, this information is shared simply based upon my own experience and tips from others who have repurposed eggshells for educational purposes. As with all home remedies, allergic reactions or other negative medical problems can arise from the use of any alternative medicine, no matter how natural it is or how well the ingredients have been cleaned.
Top 15 Ways to Use Eggshells on the Homestead
1. Use the membrane as a natural first aid tool.
The membrane can be used as a healing natural bandage. The nutrients in the membrane are thought to have natural properties which enhance the healing process. The membrane surrounds the developing embryo of the chick or duckling and is filled with compounds naturally designed to nourish the little creature growing inside of the egg. The membrane contains hyaluronic acid, amino acids, collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin. The nutrients are known to help with connective tissue disorders and offer pain relief for stiff joints – especially in the knees. The membrane has also been known to help draw out blackheads, heal acne, and to draw out splinters.
2. Crushed eggshells can be used as a much-needed calcium supplement for laying hens.
The eggshells are free, and store bought supplements, like packages of oyster shells, are not. Chickens and ducks actually love eating their own eggshells. Simply sprinkle crushed shells over their feed or toss large chunks of eggshells into the coop run for the flock to nibble on in a free choice manner.
3. Sharpen knives
Some preppers and homesteading families mix crushed eggshells with just enough water to make a spreadable mixture and use rub it onto metal blades before and during the sharpening process.
4. Eat them!
After thoroughly cleaning eggshells and allowing them to air dry, crush them into a powder. The eggshell powder can be stored in a Mason jar or similar airtight container and sprinkled onto food as a human or beast calcium supplement during a long-term disaster. Crushed eggshells have been known to help stop diarrhea in both people and animals. Staying strong and healthy will be essential to the survival of the family if a doomsday scenario does strike.
5. Eggshells are a great addition to the garden for many reasons.
Soft-bodied insects like snails and slugs loathe crawling over eggshells. To keep such pests out of the garden, crush up eggshells and store them in a bucket until you have enough to place alongside the rows of plants or onto the top of the soil in container gardens.
6. Make a calcium-rich vinegar with eggshells.
Mix the ½ cup of calcium rich herbs you have on hand with one eggshell and pour them into a 1 gallon container of apple cider vinegar. The mixture needs to infuse for about five weeks before being used as a health supplement or as part of any home remedy which calls for apple cider vinegar.
7. Eggshells are a perfect addition to either the compost pile or garden.
Crush eggshells and sow them directly into the garden or toss them whole into the compost pile to help develop nutrient-rich soil for crops, fruit trees, and berry bushes.
8. Tomatoes, unlike slugs, love eggshells!
To prevent and combat blossom end rot, which is caused by a calcium deficiency, put some crushed eggshells into the garden hole dug when transplanting tomato plants from their growing containers into the garden. During the growing process, a small hole can be carefully dug around the base of the plant to place crushed eggshells into if blossom end rot begins to develop.
9. Make a homemade calcium supplement with crushed and powdered eggshells.
Pour the powder into a 00 size gelatin capsule and seal it with your pill making machine. This size pill is an accepted dose for adults, a small gel capsule would need to be used when making any type of natural homemade pill for a child. There are a vast array of such machines available, and every homesteader should have one (or two, because as all preparedness-minded folks know, two is one and one is none!) I have several and have found them to be both simple to use and easy on my wallet.
10. There is no need to spend money on seedling starter containers when you have eggshells at your disposal.
Simply fill each rounded end of the shell with enough soil needed to house the seed. The seed will benefit from the nutrients in the membrane and shells during the growing process. The shells will wobble, so place them back into an egg container or use toilet paper rolls as dividers when placing the eggshell seedling holdings onto a tray, in a wood frame, or storage bin of your choosing.
11. Add more calcium to your broth or stock making by throwing in a 1/3 cup of powdered eggshells.
Homesteading is a lot of hard work. The healthier and stronger the bones, the less taxing on the body the daily chores will feel. A broken leg on a homestead could spell financial disaster – broken bones during a disaster could prove deadly.
12. Mix together in equal parts comfrey root and cleaned eggshells to reduce pain and inflammation of the gums and cavities.
The mixture can be ingested, but it is recommended to allow it to coat the sore tooth and gum and then wipe out of the mouth – rinsing with water afterwards if possible.
13. Use eggshells as bait.
Wild fowl love eggshells just as much as your flock of chickens, ducks, or turkeys. Coax some grouse, or wild ducks and turkeys into your line of fire by laying out an eggshell treat regularly. The eggshells can be crunched into multiple pieces and cast about onto the ground or mixed in with other tempting food to lure the birds into range.
14. Make your own calcium citrate.
Clean the eggshells and allow them to air dry – or pasteurize them. Crush the shells and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per medium-sized shell. Cover the eggshells and juice with a towel or plastic wrap and allow the juice to dissolve the shell. The mixture left in the tray should now be a usable calcium citrate supplement.
15. Give the kiddos something fun to do after their chores and make eggshell sidewalk chalk.
After cleaning the eggshells, have the children help you grind up about 10 shells, pour in 1 ¼ teaspoon of water, 1 1/4 teaspoon of flour, add a squirt of food and stir. Pour the mixture into a cylinder style container – toilet paper rolls work great. Allow it to dry until it is completely solid – it usually takes overnight. Once dried, the eggshell sidewalk chalk is ready for little hands to use it to make something artistic on the front walk or side of the barn!