There is a lot of information out there about composting and a lot of it states that you shouldn’t use products like meats or eggshells in your compost because they would attract all sorts of unwanted animal attention and might turn your compost pile into a snacking ground for the area animals. There have been those complaining about bears being drawn to compost bins and other smaller animals as well. However, eggshells can also be a good source of nutrients for your garden, and can also have other uses, so composting them can prove to be quite beneficial if you follow a few golden rules.
The first thing you should know is that eggshells can host salmonella on their surface, and as such, if you don’t want to spread that around to your garden, it’s best to wash the eggshells before composting them. There are those who also like to put the eggshells in a tray in the oven for 20 minutes or so to make sure to kill all the bacteria, and this might not be a bad idea since the procedure would not destroy the Calcium in the shell, which is what the plants will most require out of the eggshells in the first place.
Another thing you could do is to grind the shells into very small pieces. This helps in more than one way. For one thing, the smaller the eggshell bits, the quicker the break down process (and in the case of eggshells, this process will take quite a while so you want to do whatever you can to hasten it). For another, scattering the small pieces of eggshell around plants will keep slugs and other pests away from them.
Spreading the ground up eggshells onto the ground or in the areas where you feed birds or chicken can also be useful, as the birds can take back a lot of much needed nutrients from the shells. If you are going to feed them to chicken, it’s advisable to put the shells into the oven for a few minutes, as feeding the chicken raw shells might encourage them to also pick at the freshly laid eggs that are yet to be collected.
While composting eggshells can be beneficial for your plants and birds and is therefore not discouraged, it would be good to avoid composting other egg parts, as it would not only be a surefire way to attract animals to your compost pile but it would also ensure that your compost would give away a smell that you would not be thrilled to have around. All in all, if you take some precautions, there is no reason why you shouldn’t compost your eggshells.