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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, at the moment neither the boxes nor culling are options.
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.