Broken Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LivingRootsFarm, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. LivingRootsFarm

    LivingRootsFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    My chickens (26 hens and 1 rooster) have been laying really well the last couple months but the last two times I went to the coop to collect eggs there as been one broken one within the other eggs. It isn't just pecked once, but completely broken and some of it appears to be missing. The only thing I have changed is I hung a light in the coop on a timer to extend the day so they are in the coop with light a little longer than usually until I wake up to let them out. Could them being "cooped up" too long in the fake light make them get bored and brake the eggs? I have read that once they start doing this it's hard to brake them off it. I have supplied them with nine nesting sites, but it seems like they always lay in the same two spots, so there will be at times 6 eggs all in the same nest and none in the others. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    IMO- if your chickens had intentionally broken the egg to eat it, you wouldn't find just some of it missing. My chickens will eat everything, shell and all. I toss really dirty eggs out in the run for my birdies. They drink up the insides then eat the shell. What you described sounds alot like what I was finding when I was having a mouse problem. I would find shells that had been licked clean, or sometimes one with some white or broken yolk in it. You'll also have to realize that when you have alot hens using the same nesting box, accidents happen. Each hen enters the box, has to arrange the other eggs and nesting materials just so and opps- an egg ends up broken. Usually then to be eaten by the same hen who broke it. When that happens, the only evidence I usually find will be yolk on the unbroken eggs or shavings. Good luck!
  3. LivingRootsFarm

    LivingRootsFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    Thanks for the info! I haven't seen any signs of mice, so I think that you may be right about them breaking them when getting into the nest.
  4. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I, as well as a friend, had a blue jay that would fly into the coop and peck a hole in the eggs.
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have noticed a few cracked shells, with tiny hole...I think, since the girls all use the same 2 boxes, they get up and accidentally step on the eggs...
    try collecting them sooner...
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It could be different things. Don't brush off the idea of mice or rats too quickly. You might be surprised what goes on when you are not around.

    If it is the chickens it could be different things. It could be a chicken purposely opening the egg. Sometimes they eat it all, shell and everything, and sometimes there is shell or wet stuff remaining. Often, one hen does the opening and the others help her in eating the egg.

    How hard are your egg shells? Thin shells can be broken fairly easily, either them stepping on them or scratching them around when rearranging the nest. Often, all the egg shells are fine except for one specific hen that just doesn't process the calcium properly or, occasionally, one just messes up with her internal laying factory.

    Is there something hard that the egg could be hitting when it is laid, a nail or such sticking out? Hens stand a bit when the egg is laid and it can fall a short distance. Eggs are not always gently laid.

    If an egg is broken, the hens will often eat it. This does not mean they opened it on purpose, but a hen that lays eggs that are easily broken can lead to the hens learning to open an egg. Since it is usually one egg in a nestful, I suspect it is one specific hen laying thin-shelled eggs that could be causing the problem. But this is only a guess.
  7. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    I've had hens that purposely broke and ate their eggs. I'm sure it started out as an accidental breakage, but progressed to an egg eater. For some reason, they sometimes don't utilize the calciium from the oyster shells. The last one I had, I caught her red-handed--err yolk beaked--right after she'd laid the egg. I'd been trying to catch her for several weeks. She's gone now. I won't keep an egg eater because they teach the others to do it, too. My hens supply either eggs or meat, so she became a stew bird.

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