It’s fun and resourceful to give chickens any food scraps we don’t eat. Chickens can eat lobster shells, as well as oysters, crab, and shells from other seafood. They’ll definitely enjoy picking off any edible goodness, but you do need to be mindful of sharp bits of shell.
If you can spare them some lobster too, even better. Lobster meat is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Is It Safe to Feed Chickens Lobster Shells?
I’ve read and heard within the backyard chicken community that giving chickens lobster shells are both fine – and potentially dangerous.
Overall, I’m able to find a lot more owners that say they give their chickens the shells without any issues than I am able to find those that say it’s bad for them.
And for those saying they wouldn’t give their chickens the shells, it’s purely a precautionary measure as they think their hens might get a piece stuck or struggle to digest the shells.
So, as to whether or not it’s safe, you can make sure it’s safe if you have any concerns. Simply break up the shells into smaller pieces, just as you would any form of grit.
I’ve heard from plenty of people that they just throw shells and leftover parts of lobsters to their chickens without any issues though.
Why Feed Your Chickens Lobster Shells?
There’s no doubt that your chooks would love to get their beaks into some lobster meat.
However, there aren’t many of us who are willing to serve up fresh lobster to our flock – a lot of us spoil out chickens, but not that much!
The shells are a different story, as we don’t eat the shells. It becomes the norm to give backyard chickens anything we don’t eat that they will eat.
Plus, there is a huge upside to lobster shells – they’re high in calcium.
Taking this a step further, a lot of people feed their hens crushed eggshells as a way of providing grit and calcium.
Crushed lobster shells also provide these benefits. It’s well worth seeing if your hens eat some at the very least.
If there are any remnants of lobster in there, even better. Lobster is high in protein, and chickens love meat. They’ll peck and strip any small bits of meat off the shell for sure.
Additional tip – According to gardeningknowhow.com lobster shells are also great for the garden. They’re considered “greens”, so they can be used for composting and also as plant food.
Related – Can chickens eat crab shells?
How to Feed Backyard Chickens
If you’re new to raising backyard chickens or researching some of the different foods you can feed them, I figured I’d help by covering the basics.
The bulk of a chickens’ diet will typically come from a commercial feed. Feeds, which usually come in pelleted form, are an easy and convenient way to make sure your chickens are getting all the important nutrition they need.
Mature hens will eat a layer feed. This ensures they’re getting all the protein, calcium, and other key ingredients they need to lay their best eggs.
If you look at the ingredients of a typical feed, they generally comprise mostly of grains like sunflower seeds, oats, wheat, maize, and some other ingredients.
In addition to their feed, you can give your chickens just about anything that’s safe for them to eat to add some variety to their diet.
For most owners, this typically means leftovers and table scraps, like lobster shells, for example.
Some of the best foods to give chickens are fruits and vegetables. They provide a wide range of good nutrition, are easy to feed to chickens, and you can usually spare them what you don’t want.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Lobster Shells?
Chickens can and will eat lobster shells. It’s a great way to use the shells rather than throwing them away, and there is the added benefit that they’re high in calcium content.
As with any food and treats you’re giving your chickens, as long as you ensure it’s safe to give them, and you keep an eye on them at first to see how they’re taking to it – you should try it.
Image credits – Photos by Brett Jordan and Daniel Norris on Unsplash