So we have 3 hens and a rooster - one of the hens is about 6-7 months and laying daily, the rest are approaching 6 months and haven't started laying yet. They love to sit on our porch - we've been trying for months to discourage them because the poop drives us crazy, but it's fully sheltered so no wind, no snow, no predators, and needless to say it's going to take some serious work to get them to stay off if it's even possible. The coop is big enough but the run is really designed for them to free range most of the time (although we will be covering the top and one of the sides in the next week to make it more appealing and keep out snow for winter).
The issue is actually with the porch itself - our house is insulated with styrafoam. Some of the styrafoam framing the entrance is exposed and the chickens have recently become obsessed with pecking it. I catch them at least once a day with styrafoam "beards" and I'm sure they are injesting some of it.
We chased them off every time they came off for 2 weeks straight in the summer (we tried spray bottles, chasing them off with a pool noodle, but it's enticing enough that nothing really stops them from trying. It doesn't help that there's a ground-level window with a small ledge so they can roost and watch "human tv" in comfort). I'm certainly open to ideas; at the moment I'm looking into clicker-training our rooster - he's pretty receptive and tends to be the one leading them to the spot, although I'm certain the hens would still come up on their own if he weren't around.
I wasn't really concerned - I figured it would go right through them - but hubby mentioned the other day that it's possible we shouldn't be eating the eggs. I came across an older thread on BYC where someone said that eggs shouldn't be consumed for a week after the hen has consumed a toxin, although there were no references to support the statement.
So my question is, can we safely eat the eggs our hen is laying knowing she may be consuming a small amount of styrafoam? We only get one egg a day, so I really don't want to lose them - we just got to stop buying store-bought eggs! And how can I discourage them from pecking the styrafoam?