Chickens Eating Eggs?

Blackberry18

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
1,803
129
196
Minnesota
I have, in total, 11 laying hens. Five Barred Rocks and six White Leghorns. They've been laying around 3-4 eggs per day, and I'm wondering if they are eating their eggs, particularly the Barred Rocks, as today I saw my Black Sex-Link eat what looked like a piece of brown eggshell. I never give my chickens eggs to eat, so I'm not sure where they could have picked up the behavior. I don't think it's consistent, perhaps just one hen is doing it. I know that you're supposed to collect eggs several times a day to prevent egg-eating, but I'm too busy to do so, collecting usually at around four o' clock or later. Any ideas of what I could do to stop it?
 

komakit

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 7, 2014
13
3
23
Florida
Its been my experiance that it starts with one chicken . This rouge fowl criminal will teach the other
What to do to get a treat. At my place the culpret always lies and blames everyone else. So I arrest the suspect bird. Have a sham trial and the jailbird goes on death row.
However. If I let them free range. The egg eating stops instantly.
Oh. And deathrow is a scare tactic. If the crime continues then there is a second trial. This continues until the taxes are again being paid. Then in the same order they were arrested they are releast. Im still watching for egg killers. I do ALWAYS find the guilty party. That bird is executed. But I have never had a free range egg eater.
 

Blackberry18

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
1,803
129
196
Minnesota
Its been my experiance that it starts with one chicken . This rouge fowl criminal will teach the other
What to do to get a treat. At my place the culpret always lies and blames everyone else. So I arrest the suspect bird. Have a sham trial and the jailbird goes on death row.
However. If I let them free range. The egg eating stops instantly.
Oh. And deathrow is a scare tactic. If the crime continues then there is a second trial. This continues until the taxes are again being paid. Then in the same order they were arrested they are releast. Im still watching for egg killers. I do ALWAYS find the guilty party. That bird is executed. But I have never had a free range egg eater.
Thanks for replying! I do let my chickens free-range at least three times a week for an hour or more, when I can watch them (I live in the country, so the risk of predators is too great to allow full time free-ranging, as I've learned from experience). I'm hoping that it will pass over, I'm just not sure who's doing it.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,914
1,154
291
Georgia
The egg could have broken on its own which would mean no crime has been committed.

I have had eggs break (usually when laid at night and dropping from the roosting poll) and have had hens eagerly lap up the eggy goodness the next morning.

No biggie they never try to eat unbroken eggs.
 
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Blackberry18

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
1,803
129
196
Minnesota
The egg could have broken on its own which would mean no crime has been committed.

I have had eggs break (usually when laid at night and dropping from the roosting poll) and have had hens eagerly lap up the eggy goodness the next morning.

No biggie they never try to eat unbroken eggs.
Thank you!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,032
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
If you do see it become a pattern another option is to use roll away nests so the eggs roll into a "safe box" away from the reach of the hen(s) immediately after being laid.
 

Blackberry18

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
1,803
129
196
Minnesota
UPDATE: I went out just this afternoon to discover one of my Leghorns' heads spotted with fresh yellow yolk. Upon further investigation, I discovered that in one nest, there was one brown egg, three white ones, and a brown eggshell, along with albumen in the nest. I realized the other Leghorns also had a little yolk on their heads, and it lead me to wonder, "Are the Leghorns purposely eating the Barred Rocks' eggs?". It sounds very intelligent and odd for a chicken, but that seems like the case. Can chickens recognize the difference between two different breeds' eggs, since they are not color-blind? It sounds likely, but why would they only eat the other breeds' eggs?
 

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