chickens eating eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LeoneB, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. LeoneB

    LeoneB In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2014
    so - I have 4 laying cooks (1 buff leghorn, 1 columbian wyandotte and 2 gold laced wyandotte's) and 8 x 8 week old chickens that I hatched (incubated)
    If I check several times a day for eggs, I get between 3 and 4 eggs every day, so I am thinking my 4 layers are all laying (they are about 10 months old), but if I go to work and don't check the eggs until after 6pm (ish) there are never any eggs.

    Do you think they are eating the eggs?
    if so, what can I do about it to stop them?

    looking forward to some advice from all of the amazing experience on this forum.

  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    Try putting some golf balls in the nesting boxes. If they peck them and can't break them open they might stop. I've read you can blow the yolk out of an egg and fill it with mustard and they don't like the taste and will stop. Never tried that one. Another option is to make a roll out nesting box so the eggs roll outside the coop to a catch tray as soon as they are laid. Have you seen any broken egg shells or hens with egg-literally-on their faces? It could be a rat or snake getting the eggs. I had a hen eating eggs and there was always a mess or some pieces of shell left. I used the golf balls and she finally quit. If you do have an egg eater give them extra calcium like oyster shell in case they have a calcium deficiency. That can cause egg eating.
  3. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.

    It's quite possible that someone is eating those eggs, it's just a question of who. I would have thought that if it was your hens there would be some sort of visible sign to indicate it was them. Do you ever see wet, egg-soaked hay in their nests? Or birds with yummy yolk dripping down their chins, lol? It sounds funny, but an egg eating chicken is usually fairly easy to identify.

    Sometimes other predators can eat your hens eggs. I have heard of rats, other birds, and even snakes (yikes!) getting into the nests to steal the eggs away. In those cases there is not often any trace of the egg at all. Something comforting to think about at night, huh?!

    Excellent advice, and proof that great minds do indeed think alike! I would definitely support the plastic eggs or golf balls in the nests, as well as the mustard method. The roll away nests are also a great idea.

    I would add that bored chickens will do all sorts of naughty things to keep themselves entertained, so maybe something to occupy their time would be a good idea. Do they get to free-range at all? That is a great distraction. You could also try some yummy frozen fruit pieces for them to eat, or even better - hang some fruits that they can jump up to and peck at. Things like fallen tree branches and old logs are also great fun to play on. Or so I've heard, lol. And access to the compost heap - delicious fun!

    As far as diet goes, the oyster shell is a great idea. Also, I don't know what else you feed them but you don't want hungry birds, so 24/7 free access to a good quality feed is recommended.

    Good luck figuring out whodunit! Keep up posted.

    - Krista

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