It is said that pigs would eat almost anything and everything, but there is also a majority of which they cannot and should not eat. Eggs and their shells might and might not be part of the safe food options pigs can eat. To find out, keep reading.
Can Pigs eat Eggshells?
To a quick summary of this question _ Yes, pigs can eat eggshells. Pigs love eating them amongst all other treats or meals.
Eggshells are surprisingly one of the safest for pigs to eat. Not only are eggs and their shells safe, but they also contain a multitude of healthy nutrients that contribute to a pig’s overall health.
This would lead us to our next topic, Why are Eggshells Healthy for our Pigs? But, before moving on, let's quickly give a brief definition of what Eggshells are.
What are Eggshells?
An eggshell is an egg's hard, brown, or whitish outer covering. It is the part of an egg we crack open and dispose of. However, I hope you will learn why you should always recycle your eggshells at the end of this article.
General benefits of Eggshells
There are several reasons why eggshells are substantially healthy for animals, including pigs. Not only do they have health benefits they also have other random benefits, which we will also be discussing here.
- First, feeding eggshells to your pets is an excellent way to reduce your kitchen waste, even just a little bit. The major health benefit includes the fact that eggshells contain calcium. Eggshells contain high amounts of calcium and other minerals and nutrients. Calcium is essential for healthy bone growth and teeth development, which makes it a great addition to every pig’s daily diet. Eggshells are roughly made up of 40% calcium, with each gram providing about 381 to 401 mg of calcium.
Interestingly, half an eggshell may provide enough calcium to meet the daily requirements of animals. However, inadequate calcium intake contributes to bone loss and osteoporosis over time. So, if your diet lacks calcium and you need a cheap option, eggshells can be a good source of calcium.
- Also, egg shells are a good source of selenium. Selenium can help improve immune system function, cognition, and fertility. Selenium plays a key role in maintaining thyroid hormone metabolism and DNA synthesis. In addition, it protects the body from oxidative damage and infection.
- The Eggshell membrane, located between the eggshell and the egg white, also benefits eggshells. The Eggshell membrane is easily visible when you peel a boiled egg. Although it is not technically part of the eggshell, but it is usually attached to it. The Eggshell membrane mainly consists of protein in the form of collagen. The membrane also contains small amounts of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and other important nutrients. These trace nutrients in eggshells membrane are beneficial but are unlikely to have any significant effects.
However, some studies have recently shown that regular intake of eggshell membrane supplements may benefit your joints. Although, more studies are needed to confirm their potential effectiveness.
- Another wonderful benefit of eggshell is that it is cheap. From its calcium and other mineral benefits, it is a cheap source of all these minerals. Eggshell powder can easily be prepared at home or bought at a cheap price also.
- Eggshells can be added to soap to give extra abrasiveness. You can add eggshell powder to your pig's soap lather before you bathe them.
- For farmers or plant owners. It has been shown that sprinkling eggshell powder on the soil every two weeks gives it some extra nourishment due to the calcium content in eggshells.
- Lastly, egg shells can also be used in your gardens or around your pets to keep other animals away, such as slugs, snails, cats e.t.c
Risks of Eating Eggshells
Unsurprisingly, eggshells can also be risky, even with all their benefits, even when they are prepared correctly. To keep eggshells safe, there are a few things you need to do.
First is to always wash and rinse the eggshell thoroughly. This step is really important if you plan on eating or using your eggshells. This is simply because the eggshells could be contaminated
with bacteria such as salmonella enteritidis. You might even take it a step further by boiling the egg or eggshell before using or eating it.
Second, do not attempt to swallow or attempt to feed your pigs with large fragments of eggshells. The reason for this is not far-fetched, just simply because it might injure the throat or esophagus. So, you might want to consider blending or grinding the shells before using them or feeding them to your pets. In summary, eggshells can be broken up into small pieces or ground up to help make them extra safe for pigs.
Another likely risk comes from overeating. Everything should be done with moderation. The calcium content in eggshells could turn out to be a disease if it is not controlled. Excess calcium intake could result in kidney stones, risk of heart disease e.t.c. To help keep a moderation, you can also mix the eggshell powder with food or juice before consumption. Roughly 2.5 grams of eggshells is moderate enough to meet the daily calcium requirement. A study has shown that foods like bread, spaghetti, pizza, and fried meat go well with eggshell powder.
My final thoughts on this topic would be that if you have been overlooking the benefits of these eggshells and you have been disposing of them. Now would be a good time to embrace them for you and your pet. These Eggshells has been used to treat several diseases and has also been of good use in kitchens, garden, pet food, pet bathing soap e.t.c
So next time you crack open an egg, think twice before tossing the shell.