Constant egg-eating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Q9, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Q9

    Q9 General Headache

    This doesn't seem right. I know chickens will sometimes eat their eggs if they're protein-deficient, but this week our hens have eaten 3 or 4 of their eggs. INCLUDING the shells. Does anyone know why? It's kinda creeping me out.
  2. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Songster

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    Somtimes it means they need calcium. Which they get from the egg shells.

    Do you have oyster shell down?
  3. Q9

    Q9 General Headache

    Quote:Uh, what is that?

    I'm not sure why they'd be low on calcium - do we need to somehow supplement their food and foraging?
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    It sometimes starts as a nutritional deficiency, but becomes a nasty habit that sticks long after the deficiency is resolved. Have you seen Opa's roll away nesting boxes? They are the second most effective way of dealing with the problem. The first is to cull the offenders.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  5. scovy123

    scovy123 In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2011
    you can buy oyster shell at the feedstore, it is a calcium supplement.

    sometimes they learn to do it and it becomes a bad habit. you can cull or use a rollaway nest. some people have found ways to try and 'teach' them not to do it.
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Quote:I agree it does start with a nutritional deficiency but then they find themselfs doing it out of habit, and this is the hardest problem to break and sadly in many cases regardless of all the weird things folks will tell you that will cure it, it almost never does. Roll away nest boxes do help allot, but if you can't do this then you may be forced with some difficult decisions to make. both are not good but will solve the problem.

  7. Q9

    Q9 General Headache

    Unfortunately, at the moment neither the boxes nor culling are options. [​IMG] We've only got four birds, and at least three participate in the egg-eating. If I were to cull the offenders, that'd basically be our entire flock. Our tractor design prevents adding on any roll-away nests.

    I'll look into getting a calcium supplement, and just pray it stops the egg-eating. Plus, I'll start checking on them as often as possible.
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm a newbie at chicken behavior, but as I read the posts this poped into my head: are the girls bored?? Maybe disstract them with other "things" to focus on . . . . Just a thought . Good luck!
  9. wenlo

    wenlo Chirping

    Feb 27, 2010
    How are you sure three of the four are doing it? How do you know its shells and all if there are no shells?
  10. jmtrestle

    jmtrestle In the Brooder

    Nov 28, 2010
    Bloomington, IN
    Do they have nest boxes? Some chickens have the instinct to eat the eggs if they fear a predictor could find them easy...

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