Do Birds Eat Eggshells?

do birds eat eggshells

Birds are well-known for their love of eggshells. In fact, many bird enthusiasts recommend that birders put out crushed eggshells for their feathered friends. Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium for birds and help to keep their bones strong.

However, do birds actually eat eggshells? The answer is a bit complicated. It depends on the type of bird and its diet.

Some birds, like parakeets and cockatiels, will nibble on eggshells as part of their diet. Other birds, like chickens, will consume eggshells if they are available but it’s not necessary for their diet. Still other birds, such as raptors, will eat eggs whole – shell and all!

There are a lot of urban legends out there about what animals do and don’t eat. One of the most common questions people ask is whether or not birds eat eggshells. The answer, it turns out, is a little bit complicated.

First of all, it depends on the type of bird. Some birds, like chickens, will actually consume eggshells as part of their diet. This helps them to get the calcium they need to keep their bones healthy and strong.

Other birds, however, such as canaries and finches, generally don’t eat eggshells. So why is this? Well, it’s thought that the shells of these eggs are simply too hard for them to digest properly.

Additionally, these types of birds typically don’t have access to as much calcium in their natural diets, so they don’t need to supplement with eggshells. Do Birds Eat Eggshells?

How Does a Bird Eat an Eggshell

A bird’s eggshell is composed of calcium carbonate, which the bird can break down and absorb for extra calcium. The process begins when the bird cracks open the egg at the top with its beak. It then uses its tongue to create a small hole in the bottom of the egg.

Next, it sucks out the contents of the egg, including the yolk, albumen (egg white), and chalaza (a protein that helps keep the yolk centered). The final step is eating the eggshell. The bird first breaks it into smaller pieces with its beak.

Then it uses its tongue to help grind up the shell into a powdery consistency. Some of this shell will be swallowed along with grit (tiny rocks) that help with digestion. The rest of the shell powder will be regurgitated later as part of a pellet (a ball of undigested matter).


Yes, birds eat eggshells. Eggshells are full of calcium, and birds need calcium to build strong bones and produce healthy eggs. Some birds, like parrots and cockatiels, will even eat their own eggshells after they hatch.

Adrian Hopper

Welcome to! I created The Birds Beast to share my passion for all things birds with the rest of the world. I also belong to a professional group devoted to birds, and as a means of outreach, I use this blog to help as many people as I possibly can. Birds are some of the least treated pets in the United States. It is my fervent desire to change this, and I hope my blogging will motivate meaningful actions and allow individuals to safely handle their birds.

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