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Are they eating their own eggs? Nothing left in the nesting box . . .

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RachelJoy, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm thinking one (or more) of my girls has started eating their eggs. From four laying hens we have been getting 2-3 eggs a day. In the past week we've had several days with no eggs, but sometimes signs that an egg was broken in the nesting box (wet, slimy wood shavings). If they are eating the eggs, they're eating all of it - white, yolk, and shell - there are not even any small pieces of shell left.

    I've just read the threads and articles on what to do, and we'll try some of these suggestions (added protein and calcium, maybe try to figure out who the culprit is . . . but I have nowhere to separate one, even if I do know). Maybe fill a shell with soap or mustard . . .

    What a pain. I like my girls best when they are being well behaved.


  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
    If they are eating them, you may see yolk on the beaks. Yes, they will eat everything. There are lots of things to try. What worked for me was ceramic eggs (Golfballs work, too,) gathering eggs often, and increasing the protein in the hen's diet. It can be difficult to break them, they have discovered what we already know, EGGS are DELISH!
  3. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Songster

    Mar 1, 2013
    Keep in mind that your birds won't lay every day. They will skip days now and then, which is a good thing. When my young birds start laying a few of them have ate some eggs but they usually stop soon after. I think sometimes if one gets cracked somehow they might eat it. If possible you could try collecting the eggs soon after they lay them. Or you could get some "roll out nests" then they can't eat them. I keep some golfballs in the nests, don't know if that makes a difference. I wouldn't bother messing around with their protein level. That doesn't have anything to do with it. Layers need a constant 16-17% protein and don't need it changed as a fix for this and that like so many people recommend. Good luck to you.
  4. SlipsWife

    SlipsWife Songster

    Mar 10, 2013
    Odessa, Texas
    I saw a suggestion on another thread for trying to figure out which girls are laying to use a wild game camera in the nesting area. They aren't to expensive (we were looking into getting one to figure out what was happening to our chicks last year, turns out it was a feral cat) and can have multiple uses, watch for predators, see who's laying, see who's eating the eggs or even just for fun [​IMG]
  5. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Not really sure what to do . . .

    We can't check for eggs frequently because we both work full time.

    We're trying very hard to stop investing so much money into four laying hens (the electric fence, the light and timer, the heated water bowl . . . it makes our eggs MUCH more expensive than anything we'd be buying), so I'd rather not buy fancy nesting boxes, cameras, etc.

    I'll start with the fake eggs, possibly the empty egg full of mustard or soap, and see where we go from there.

    Sometimes these girls are more of a hassle than I think they're worth!
  6. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chirping

    Sep 24, 2012
    My chickens have accidentally broken an egg and eaten it but they don't purposefully break them to eat them (we have a chicken cam). Are you sure that's not whats happening? They only do it once a month at most. If you don't see wet slimy wood chips then they might not have layed for that day.

    PS. You'll never save money with chickens for eggs. If you factor compost value in then maybe...

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