Can Chickens Eat Crab Shells? Good Source Of Calcium

Crabs are usually one of the popular seafood to eat. When consuming them, people will typically eat the meat part and toss away the crab shells. If you are raising backyard chickens, you may wonder if chickens can eat crab shells.

So, can chickens eat crab shells? Yes, chickens can eat crab shells. It’s full of calcium content, which is an essential nutrient for them, especially egg-laying hens and baby chickens.

Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Crab Shells?

Some people think that feeding crab shells to chickens is dangerous. Since the texture of the shell is hard, and it’s sharp, it could cause them to choke on it.

However, crab shells are safe for the chickens to eat if you prepare them correctly first. In order to make it safe for them, you should crush the shells into very tiny pieces. The size of it should be similar to those of grits.

Health Benefits of Feeding Crab Shells To Your Chickens

Crab shells don’t seem to have any nutritional value, but in reality, it does. The shells contain various nutrition such as proteins and calcium.

Calcium is an essential nutrient for chickens. They need calcium for strong bones and other organs in their body to function properly.

For baby chickens and egg-laying hens, calcium is very important. Chicks grow up very quickly and to help them grow healthy and strong, they need plenty of calcium in their diet. For that reason, many manufacturers will put extra calcium content in the starter feed.

As for egg-laying hens, calcium is needed to produce strong and healthy eggs. The eggs are made entirely of calcium content. Besides the eggs, hens need calcium to stay healthy when they are laying eggs.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Crab Shells?

Yes, baby chickens can eat crab shells. Make sure to break the shells into tiny pieces. It should be the same size as the grits. This will make it easy for them to eat and digest it.

How Do You Feed Crab Shells To Chickens

Once you have some leftover crabs, you can feed them to your chickens by giving them the whole shell or crushing them first.

Feeding them the whole shell will keep your chickens busy. They will peck at it and eat pieces of it. However, it could get stuck in their throat if it’s a piece that’s too large. The good thing is that most chickens are smart enough and will not try to eat it if it seems too big.

If you’re afraid that the crab shells could cause your chickens to choke on them, you can crush them. Place all the crab shells into a mortar or on a flat surface. With a hard object, crush the shells until it’s bits and pieces. Then you can simply toss them to the chickens to let them eat them.

Since crab shells have a lot of calcium content, you can use them as a supplement. Simply sprinkle some of the crab shells onto their treat or chicken feed. This will give the chickens a boost in calcium.

How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Crab Shells?

Crab shells have a lot of calcium content, which is one of the nutrition that is essential for chickens. For that reason, you can feed them every time that you have leftover crabs from dinner.

Other Seafood That Chickens Can Eat


Lobster makes a good treat for chickens. Since lobster is quite expensive, most people will eat the meat and throw away the shell. Instead of throwing away the shell, you can give them to your chickens. Lobster shell has a lot of calcium content, which is a nutrient that chickens need on a daily basis. You can give them the entire lobster shell or crush them into tiny pieces first.


Salmon offers a lot of nutrients that chickens need to stay healthy. This fish contains a high amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals. You can either feed them both raw and cooked salmon. The skin of the fish is safe for them to eat as well.


Shrimp makes a tasty treat for your chickens. Any leftovers you have can be fed to them, including the shrimp shells. You can feed them shrimps that are raw, cooked, and dried. Chickens are not picky and will eat it all.


Crab shells have a high content of calcium, which makes them great for feeding your chickens. Hens that are laying eggs and baby chickens can benefit a lot from crab shells.