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Cracked Eggs in Nest Box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TMecklenborg, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. TMecklenborg

    TMecklenborg In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Our first hen has been laying for a few weeks now, a little more often than every other day. We're pretty sure it's just the black Australorp that's laying so far (but the Wyandotte has started making a lot more noise, so she should be catching up soon). A lot of the eggs have been cracked a bit, usually at the pointy end. All but the first have been in the nest box, which has a wooden floor. There's straw in there, but she kicks it around into a big circle and lays the eggs on the bare wood in the middle.

    Are the eggs cracking because they're hitting the bare wood? She can't be dropping them from any kind of height, as there's a roof over the nest box. I tried adding more straw, but she pulled it out and kicked the rest into a circle around bare wood again. The bedding in the rest of the coop is rice hulls -- should I put those in the nest box, too, or will that confuse her about where she should be pooping vs. laying eggs? Could I install some kind of foam pad, or would they eat that?

    I also thought it could be a problem with the shells, since a few of the very earliest ones were a little leathery, but the more recent ones seem to be a pretty normal thickness and brittleness. They're eating laying crumble, and they have access to oyster shell for extra calcium. They also get some grains every morning (either cracked corn, oats, or a mix of wheat, milo, and corn) and vegetable scraps a couple times a week.

    Any ideas? So far they've just been little cracks, not completely broken eggs, and we've eaten the cracked eggs within a day or two, but I'd rather have nice uncracked eggs I can keep around for a while if I want to!
  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    You can buy some 1/2" thick rubber matting at most feed stores, usually 3 or 4 feet wide, about $7.50 per foot. Cut to fit the bottom of your nest box.

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