Chickens are eating eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chiriohs, May 11, 2011.

  1. Chiriohs

    Chiriohs Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    Duncan, OK
    This has been happening for a few weeks now, but today I finally saw it. One of my easter eggers laid her egg in the middle of the run and then ALL of the chickens ran over and ate every last bit of it in a matter of seconds.

    I have 17 hens and 1 rooster. It's a little crowded in my setup, but not badly. 10 x 10 run and a 6 x 4 coop with 4 nesting boxes. I am still getting 12 - 13 eggs a day, but I used to get 13 - 15 regularly, every once in a while 17. This easter egger is the only one of my hens to lay an almost white egg. I suspect one of the three green egg layers is also doing this laying-the-egg-in-the-run thing.

    They have free choice of oyster shell all of the time and I can tell it's being eaten.

    What are my options? The chicken is 1.5 years old.

    Appreciate any assistance...
  2. johny

    johny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    1)Accept it and be happy you are still getting most of your eggs.

    2)Too crowded!! 6x4 feet? Not 6x4 yards right?
    6x4 feet is very crowded even with the run.
    Kill the egg eaters and a few others and I bet your egg production remains stable and the birds will be happier.
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    You have an overcrowding issue. A 6x4 coop is tight with 6 chickens. A 10x10 run is tight with 10 chickens. 18 chickens is 2-3 times more than recommended.

    Also, make sure they have enough feed with enough calcium and that they are actually eating it. If you can identify the ringleader, then put her in jail or cull her.

    My BYC page has links to my blog posts on egg eating and chicken jail.
  4. Chiriohs

    Chiriohs Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    Duncan, OK
    It is a chicken tractor, I forgot to mention that. I move it at least twice a week. I do have plans to separate some into a separate coop at some point...guess I better do that sooner rather than later.
  5. PoppiesChicks

    PoppiesChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    I've read to blow out an egg and fill it with mustard and after a few they will stop trying to eat them. It's worth a try.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    They are really crowded, to it's hard for them not to notice when someone lays an egg. Do they eat the grass down to nothing right away? You could try moving it daily, as a diversion. I would really look at diet. What are you feeding? What are you using for feed and how much scratch or other items? Low protein can definitely cause egg eating, as well as being short of some other nutrient.
  7. Chiriohs

    Chiriohs Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    Duncan, OK
    There are 4 one foot square nesting boxes in the coop.

    Once I install better wheels, which will be pretty soon, I will be able to move it more often. I feed 16% layer pellets free choice, oyster shell free choice, layer feed soaked in water to make a mash out in the run, a big dish of water that they can wade into (if they're so inclined) in the run (automatic waterer in the coop). I only throw scratch on the ground maybe once a week as a treat. I also feed them all the fruit/veggie or bread scraps we can come up with.

    For an update, I removed the chicken I saw lay the egg in the run, along with a handicapped chicken (she has trouble walking, but otherwise seems normal) for company and have been letting them free range the last two days. I peeked into the nesting boxes and so far there are 14 eggs from 15 hens! Seems to have done the trick, although I still am going to build another tractor and run so that I can split the group.
  8. chickenfinatic14

    chickenfinatic14 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2011
    Too small!!! I have a 6x4 coop for 6 chickens.
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I have an egg eater or 2 and I have no idea which one. For me and this is jut me, space is not the problem neither is overcrowding. The chickens are on 1 acre of free ranging space. If I give them any more space, then I'll have to move out. [​IMG]

    I'm working on increasing the protein. I think that's my problem. I stopped buying BOSS because the price is $30.00 for a 50lb bag in my area. So, I have to find another option.

    Glad that you were able to find a solution.
  10. Erin~TheChickenLover

    Erin~TheChickenLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    Arkansas River Valley
    My chickens used to do this, on 2 different occasions actually! [​IMG] The first time they got to thinking the eggs were their own personal treats because I fed them egg shells... [​IMG] The other time some of my rescued EE had a vitamin deficiency. Try putting vitamins in their water. I don't know if it will work for you, but it worked for me! [​IMG]

    Edited to say: Forgot to mention, oyster shells should help too! Good Luck!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

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