Chicken eating eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Teppler, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. Teppler

    Teppler Out Of The Brooder

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    Denison, Texas
    I have always had problems with very thin egg shells from 3 out of my 5 hens. Lately I am noticing broken eggs and obviously the inside eaten. Not sure if the eggs break as they are layed then they are eaten or they are broken on purpose and then eaten. And what advice can you give to stop egg eating..and thin shells, I have crushed oyster shell available all the time.
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I'm not sure if apple cider vinegar in the water may help with calcium absorption. If it's hot where you are it helps deal with heat stress also. Are they like that all year or just when it's hot. Could be effected by the age of the hen.

    If the eggs are breaking and exposed their deliciousness to the hens, can't blame them. However stopping it may prove difficult.

    Wish I had better information.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Try and collect the eggs earlier if you can?
    Add your rinsed and dried egg shells back into your oyster shells. crush them up.
    It will not encourage egg eating.
    Feed a handful of Dry cat food every other day for the extra protein. I toss it like scratch.
    Good luck.
     
  4. MyChickenCookie

    MyChickenCookie Just Hatched

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    Jun 21, 2016
    The eggs are probably broken from their thin shells and eaten once the hens notice that they can eat it. However, they will acquire a taste for eggs if you don't supply them with oyster shell. I found that the girls are more likely to eat them if you put them in a metal bowl since they like how it shines in the sun.
     
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    I agree with the above. Once they get broken accidentally and the chickens realize they like the taste, they will start breaking and eating eggs on purpose. The best way to combat this is make sure they have free access to oyster shells, full feed at all times, and are not bored. Sometimes they will eat them because they are hungry, bored, or calcium deficient. Also, what I did when my girls were eating eggs was I put ceramic eggs in the nesting boxes. This helped deter them somewhat. I also heard of people filling egg shells with mustard, because they hate the taste. I would try the ceramic eggs, though.
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I just read about roll away egg boxes for keeping the eggs clean. It would probably work for egg eaters also. However with your weak shells... ? Worth looking at anyways. I love the idea. It would even help prevent broodiness if that was an issue, in theory.

    If the week shells are not something you can correct, you might consider replacing your hens....

    Also if you try the acv, it should be raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered, with "mother" in it. It will say that on the label. Any brand will do. I think dose is 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, but you should check other acv threads to make sure.

    Good luck!
     
  7. jpmyers0518

    jpmyers0518 New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2016
    I apologize but need help starting my own thread with a question but can't figure out how to. Can someone please help me?
     
  8. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    on top of the first post there is a small beige box that say start a new post click on it
     
  9. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Desert Hills, AZ
    I found one of my Leghorns eating an egg about two weeks ago. I put the plastic eggs that I originally used to show them where to lay back in the boxes and filled them with sand to make them weigh about the same as a regular egg. The next day I noticed a few broken open so I refilled them and left them there. After that #81 wasn't pecking at any more eggs. Not saying this will work every time but my hypothesis was that it would decrease the odds she would peck at a real egg and after a while maybe think she got lucky on the first egg and it was a fluke. Apparently it worked because I haven't had any more issues. I did get a shell less egg once or twice but fortunately no one ate them. I keep those fake eggs in the boxes just in case anyone else gets the idea.

    Regarding the soft-shell eggs, are you feeding them layer feed? If so it should have enough calcium in it but I still leave free choice oyster shell out and notice a couple of hens eat that too. Also if you're feeding them greens be careful which greens you feed them. I read certain greens like spinach are ok in moderation but it can interfere with their ability to absorb calcium and you could get soft egg shells as a result. If I remember correctly the same goes for too much brassicas like cabbage. Just something to think about in case you haven't already.
     

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