Chickens are now eating their eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tickbait, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. tickbait

    tickbait Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2009
    My neighbor started dumping his vegetable table scraps in our chicken run which was fine by us until he had eggs shells and now they are breaking their eggs and eating them. It just started a few days ago. Does anyone have any suggestions on changing this habit?
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    There have been many, many threads on this topic, and alot of advice too. Nothing worked for my hens, so I had to re-home them (with notice to the people of those habits of course). I tried fake eggs, isolation for weeks, eggs filled with various junk- nothing worked. Those might work for your flock though.

    You could consider starting a new thread titled- "Your success stories of stopping egg eaters" or something like that. Sorry I couldnt help ya more. Egg eaters are such a pain!
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    The only problems I've had with egg-eaters, and it has happened with good hens that later stopped, seemed to have to do with the nest - not the eggs.

    I better start off by saying that: my laying flocks do not have egg shells unless the shells are thoroughly crushed. Also, my hens have always had a high protein feed except long ago when I thought just feeding wheat to my hens was okay (they promptly stopped laying). I make sure that treats are kept to only about 10% to 15% of their diets.

    The nest needs to be a "sacred place" for the hens. It should be in a quiet, out of the way location, and it should be clean. Do not allow sleeping in nests; that is a very bad habit and needs to be stopped. The easiest way is to block the nests during the evening. I had a nestbox near the roost, once. Struggled to get 1 hen to stop roosting in it - instead, I got an egg eater! Moved the nest and had no more problems.

    Laying on the floor is another way to have eggs eaten. Sometimes, I have had to physically introduce a pullet to the nestbox to get her to lay in the right place. Minimum of disturbance . . . just try to show them what a wonderful place it is. I would put up lace curtains and decorate with doilies if I thought it would prevent egg eating [​IMG].

    The last time I had egg eating problems was when I let eggs pile up in a nest [​IMG]. A hen may have broken one on accident. Anyway, don't do that.

    Since I have used a tarp as a nestbox cover, there hasn't been a single incidence of egg eating. The nest isn't completely darkened but I would be willing to take that step.

    Finally, cull the hens if you can't get them to stop. I've never had to do that. Always, it seemed to be my fault [​IMG] that egg eating occurred.

  4. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    There are a lot of methods, but you might try putting fake eggs in the nest so that when they can't eat them it will discourage them from trying to eat their actual eggs. I have also heard that if you coat, or fill a hollowed out egg with mustard it will help as chickens don't like mustard. Good luck!
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    A more extreme approach is to build rollaway nest boxes.

    Actually I doubt that a few eggshells over the fence caused this. I've had the same bunch (with add-ons) for nearly four years. Periodically an egg gets broken, apparently from their walking on them -- I have seen them walk on an egg to get to a nest and they are NOT careful. Sometimes when one gets broken, someone eats it, or eats part of it, and sometimes not. But I never ended up with an egg eater.

    It's just something that gets started in some flocks, but, fortunately, not in most.

    But it is why I don't feed eggshells in any form. A lot of people get away with it, though. Some get them real fine and/or bake/cook them, others not. I feed eggs all the time, scrambled, though.

  6. tickbait

    tickbait Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2009
    We've been collecting eggs before they have a chance and so far so good. Thanks all.
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    There are a few tactics that people have tried with various degrees of success.
    Put fake eggs or golf balls in the nests. The idea is that they peck at them get no satisfaction so then move on.
    Blow out eggs and fill them with hot mustard, horseradish, or liquid soap. Same idea as above
    Darken the nests, block the light, some people put curtains in front of the nests.
    Collect often if you can
    I had success a few years ago by rearranging the coop. I think I shook up the "norm" a bit.
    It took a couple weeks.

    Good luck,

  8. FarmerJohn3285

    FarmerJohn3285 County Line Farms

    Nov 18, 2010
    Trenton, SC
    I've had an egg-eater for the past couple weeks now. Got the idea from ppl on here, dropped a golf ball in each box this morning. When i got home this evening, had an egg not eaten!! SO the golf ball theory worked for me....
  9. hitnspit

    hitnspit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    New Haven, Vermont
    golfballs worked for me.......jim s
  10. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Quote:That's how mine got started years ago.

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