A chicken ate my first egg!


12 Years
Apr 25, 2010
South Central Pennsylvania
I let my chickens free range for a while after I get home from work. Today they turned 21 weeks old and while I was outside talking to my cousin I saw a chicken running by with something in her mouth. I ran after her and yelled that it looked like she had an egg, and it was! I managed to get about 1/2 the shell from her. I'm really disappointed that the first egg is gone and I never got to hold it. The shell was small and thin so it must have broken when it came out? I don't know who laid it or where it was laid because it looked like she was out in the middle of the yard.

So, my questions are:

1. I thought they mainly laid eggs in the morning? This was around 5:30 p.m.

2. Does this mean my chickens are going to become egg eaters? How can I prevent this?

3. Don't they usually lay it in a nest and then move along?

Additional information: My coop isn't complete at the moment and they are still living in an 8' x 8' tractor. I just made a nest box for them out of the top of a kitty litter box and put wood chips in it.

Is it a good bet that they will begin using this nest box until I can get them into the coop? All the coop needs is to have the roof put on. Trusses are built and this weekend is looking good.

I'm always a day late and a dollar short
If it was thin shelled it probably broke by accident and they scarfed it up. It doesn't mean they will be egg eaters, but they usually make quick work of any that do get broken.

We keep a large commercial flock here and have found that when they first start laying the eggs come throughout the day and then the birds slowly sync up to lay a majority of the eggs in the morning. We get about 80% of our eggs in the first four hours after the lights come on, up to 95% within six hours and then some strays through the remainder of the day.
Quite often my son gathers eggs when he comes from school at 3:30 and when I go to feed and water around 6:00 I will find an egg in the nesting boxes.

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