All of my chickens eat eggs. HELP!!!

Emily D

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
33
0
24
Two minutes ago i walked in on my 8 chickens huddles around an egg, taking turns drinking the egg white/yolk. I immediately seperated the chickens from the egg but this is definetly not a solution and i need one. I have been working on bulding a rollaway nest box to keep the eggs clean, etc but until it is done is there anything i can do to stop this behavior? This egg-eating decreases the amount of eggs collected and makes a watery mess on the floor. Please help!
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
8 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
201
216
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
It's natural for chickens to eat a broken egg. Eggs sometimes break on their own - weak shell, laid from roost, stepped on, even laid without a shell - and it's their instinct to eat it so as to prevent it from attracting predators. If the egg broke on its own, they were just doing what nature intended. They were "cleaning up".

If it's just happened once, I wouldn't worry about it but would try to find out why the egg broke in the first place. Maybe they need more calcium for stronger shells or they need to be trained to lay in their nesting box. Sometimes one of my girls will drop an egg from the roost. That seems to occur around molt time or when they're transitioning from one season to the other. If it breaks, they usually eat it.

I'd only worry if it's occurring frequently and you suspect a hen of intentionally breaking an egg to eat it. Then you might want to see if their diet is lacking in either calcium or protein, both of which they'll find in eggs if it's not in their diet in sufficient quantities.

If shells are strong, diet isn't lacking, and a hen is intentionally busting eggs to eat them, then it's time for the offending gal to visit Freezer Camp!
 

Emily D

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
33
0
24
It's natural for chickens to eat a broken egg. Eggs sometimes break on their own - weak shell, laid from roost, stepped on, even laid without a shell - and it's their instinct to eat it so as to prevent it from attracting predators. If the egg broke on its own, they were just doing what nature intended. They were "cleaning up".  

If it's just happened once, I wouldn't worry about it but would try to find out why the egg broke in the first place. Maybe they need more calcium for stronger shells or they need to be trained to lay in their nesting box. Sometimes one of my girls will drop an egg from the roost. That seems to occur around molt time or when they're transitioning from one season to the other. If it breaks, they usually eat it. 

I'd only worry if it's occurring frequently and you suspect a hen of intentionally breaking an egg to eat it. Then you might want to see if their diet is lacking in either calcium or protein, both of which they'll find in eggs if it's not in their diet in sufficient quantities. 

If shells are strong, diet isn't lacking, and a hen is intentionally busting eggs to eat them, then it's time for the offending gal to visit Freezer Camp! 


It happens everyday. One hen lays in a particular spot(she fights me if i try to put her in the nestbox)the minute she lays it the others gather around it and peck a hole in the shell to get to the insides and tak turns eating it. They leave all the other eggs alone though, which i find interesting. There is a container of oyster shells to give them calcium and the eaten eggs usually have a normal sized shell.
 

MarieCallandar

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
42
5
24
Utah
I had a similar problem so I laced my chickens food everyday with calcium. Oyster shells smooshed egg shells anything with a lot of calcium. Ever since I've done this it has become impossible for them to break the shells. Sometimes they step on it, but since I did this they are less interested in the eggs as well. You can't always change the behavior but sometimes you can make it difficult for them to eat the egg
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
8 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
201
216
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
It happens everyday. One hen lays in a particular spot(she fights me if i try to put her in the nestbox)the minute she lays it the others gather around it and peck a hole in the shell to get to the insides and tak turns eating it. They leave all the other eggs alone though, which i find interesting. There is a container of oyster shells to give them calcium and the eaten eggs usually have a normal sized shell.

Whoa, that is odd, isn't it? They leave all the eggs alone except the eggs from one particular hen. Is there something different about her eggs? Are her shells thin/weak making it easy for them to break into?

I leave out oyster shell for my girls, too, but they don't like it and won't eat it. I will feed their shells back to them and they get calcium that way. Just let them air dry and I then bust them into small pieces with a wooden spoon.

I also have calcium tablets that dissolve easily in water. I'll drop one of those into about a gallon of water and leave that as their only water for the day. That way I'm sure they're drinking the calcium laced stuff.

This is a puzzle! Will be interested to see how it plays out. Wishing you best of luck!
 

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