chickens pecking/eating own eggs...update pg.3


10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
Cortland New York
First, My hubby found egg shells in the coop the other night. I got home from work today to find 1 egg that was broken because they were pecking at it and two eggs that were fine.

Two have been laying for a week with no previous problems with egg eating till the other day. Today a third started to lay. One egg was cracked and two were ok.

I must also mention they are not laying in the nest boxes. They are laying throughout the coop. Which i don't mind except they are starting to eat their own eggs. I do have oyster shells available.

How do I stop this? Especially since I can't be home during the day when they are laying because I have to work.

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I think I can help you with the stray-laying problem. I just put golf balls in the nest boxes, and my hens caught on real quick! No more stray eggs.

As for the egg-eating, mine do the same thing. If they see an egg with a crack in it, they eat it, no matter what I do. I think it's just an instinct. Make sure to keep an eye out to make sure they aren't eating the non-cracked eggs.
Check the shells of the ones that were cracked--did they seem softer than they should be? I had a problem with egg-eating for a bit, but if the shells are hard, it does not seem to be a problem. Maybe you could describe the next box? there must be some reason they don't want to use it. Also make sure that they are getting enough protein in their diet--you can use meal worms, washed cottage cheese, even cat food in small amounts to boost their protein levels. My new favorite is shredded mozzerella cheese, I'm going to try to find a low salt version.
That was going to be my suggestion. If you are feeding a vegetarian feed (like Purina) or one that is lower in protein, try supplimenting with extra protein. Dry cat food is my personal fav.
Mine occasionally will peck at an egg, but it generally has a crack in it.

As far as the nest box dilemna, I have 10 hen (5 rir's, 5 golden comets).
1 comet lays everyday on the floor in the straw without any problem. Just her preference I guess.:
I have golf balls in the nesting boxes. I had one hen lay an egg in the nesting box for the first time but she pecked a hole through it.

And she is pecking a whole through an egg that is perfectly good with a hard shell that has not been cracked opened.
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Someone gave me an idea on here, and it did work
Take an empty eggshell, fill it with liquid soap and seal it with wax, put it in the next box and let her at it. She will do it once, maybe twice, then enver again. I swear, it does work
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They have a seperate feeder of it and some mixed in with their regular food. I also have golf balls in the nesting boxes.

I'm at a loss...but I am going to try mlw987m's idea with the soap and egg shell.

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