Eggshells as Calcium source for millipedes?

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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Hello everyone! I recently saw a video on how to setup a millipede enclosure, and the source of calcium was crushed eggshells. I was wondering if this works, as I am interested in breeding millipedes and need a cheap source of calcium. Anyway please let me know of your experience with eggshells.
Thanks
 

mickiem

Arachnoprince
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I read in a post recently that someone boiled the shells and then crushed them between waxed paper sheets with a rolling pin. I am not sure how soluble the calcium would be that way. Maybe the calcium leaches into the soil? I use cuttlefish bone. You can buy them in any pet store in the bird section. It is a soft, chalky bone that powders easily. I just scrape it with a knife over the substrate about once a month.
 

SlugPod

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If you wanted to use eggshells, you'd have to get the brown coloured ones, the white ones are bleached. And the organic / brown ones are more expensive iirc.
You would also want to get a mortar and pestle (which are PRICEY) to crush it into a fine powder (which takes a while).
If it isn't in a fine powder, the millipedes most likely won't be able to eat the shells too easily because they are quite hard and millis have soft mandibles.

It might be cheaper and easier to get the cuttlefish bone as mickiem mentioned.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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If you wanted to use eggshells, you'd have to get the brown coloured ones, the white ones are bleached.
No, they aren't. Different breeds of chickens lay different colored eggs. Nutritionally, they are all basically the same. The White Leghorns (which are one of the most common breeds raised for commercial egg production) lay eggs with white colored shells, while others, like the Rhode Island Reds, lay brown eggs - and some, like the Araucanas, even lay eggs with bluish or greenish shells.
 

SlugPod

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No, they aren't. Different breeds of chickens lay different colored eggs.
I'm aware chickens can lay many different coloured eggs.
However I've read from others that most large commercial egg producers bleach the white ones to get them clean and get the dirt and stains off.
At least in the US.
I'm not sure how true this is, some sources online say that yes, most large commercial sources of eggs do bleach them and some sources say no.
I'd rather not risk potentially killing my animals and just go to something that's safer.
The cuttlefish bone for example.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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I'm aware chickens can lay many different coloured eggs.
However I've read from others that most large commercial egg producers bleach the white ones to get them clean and get the dirt and stains off.
At least in the US.
I'm not sure how true this is, some sources online say that yes, most large commercial sources of eggs do bleach them and some sources say no.
I'd rather not risk potentially killing my animals and just go to something that's safer.
The cuttlefish bone for example.
While it is true that a very weak bleach solution may be used to clean/sanitize eggs prior to sale, this is by no means exclusive to white-shelled eggs, nor is it the means by which the egg shells become white. Brown eggs are increasing popular with commercial producers and popping up more and more in the big chain supermarkets - and they are just as clean and shiny looking as the white ones, indicating that they, too, have been subjected to some sort of cleaning process. The purpose of a sanitizing solution is to remove mud, poop, or other contaminants from the shell and kill any bacteria on the shells. However, due to the extremely porous nature of the shells, the cleaning solutions (not all of which contain bleach - some use just plain water) can't be very strong, nor can the eggs be allowed to soak in them for any extended period.

In any case, I'm not advocating giving egg shells to millipedes vs. giving them cuttlefish bone or some other sort of calcium. (Mine get the same calcium powder that we dust the crickets with before feeding them to the lizards.)
 

SlugPod

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@chanda

Perhaps the information I had read was inaccurate then.
Someone told me not to use white eggs because they use bleach and that can be harmful to the inverts.
I couldn't find solid info anywhere online when I tried to confirm this, so I decided to avoid commercial eggs.
 

mickiem

Arachnoprince
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You should be eating organic eggs - if something will kill inverts, it will kill or be toxic to any life form. I only let organic fruits, veggies, eggs, etc. in my house then the is no chance anyone living here will be affected. Just sayin'......
 

SFA

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Interesting, I have pet ducks which means I have lots of egg shells (that definitely aren't bleached ) I will have to bake some shells and see if the millis like them.
 

Ratmosphere

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I would just mix reptile calcium in their substrate. The egg shells are an interesting method though. Let us know how it goes!
 

SFA

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I would just mix reptile calcium in their substrate. The egg shells are an interesting method though. Let us know how it goes!
I use reptile calcium and cuttlebone usually, I'm just always looking for things to feed them that would normally go to waste. I'll let you know when I try the eggshells!
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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Thanks everyone! I definitely will try it in the near future. I am still trying to get breeding colonies of millipedes going (If you want some more information about this, let me know), my big problem is that I don't quite have enough substrate to go around. My family is interested in getting chickens, so I am not worried about having bleached or chemically treated eggs. Thanks for all your help guys!
 

socalqueen

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I wasn't aware I needed to add calcium to the sub in my Millie enclosures. How often should it be added and how much.
 

SlugPod

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I wasn't aware I needed to add calcium to the sub in my Millie enclosures. How often should it be added and how much.
About once a month is good.
Not sure what method of calcium you want to provide, but just a bit over the surface should be good.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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Calcium is needed to build the exoskeleton of the millipedes. If you buy millipede substrate from Bugs In Cyberspace, they already have some calcium carbonate mixed in.
 

Calopteryx

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I use eggshell as a calcium source by crushing it with a mortar until it's a fine powder. As a cheap alternative you could use garden lime as well,

But don't worry too much about the millipedes getting enough calcium, usually they should get it from their food in sufficient amounts.
 
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