Eating Their Own Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Caoimhin, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin Hatching

    May 4, 2007
    I've got nine hens that eat about half of the day's eggs.

    They have enough space in the coop/run.

    They spend more than half of each day having fun running around the backyard.

    They have four nesting boxes.

    The boxes have plenty of fresh hay to lay on.

    I've put fake plastic eggs in the boxes.

    I've provided plenty of calcium (oyster), and have even mixed it into their feed/water.

    I started with four plymouth barred rocks and two reds, and added two "Americauna" and another plymouth last summer. The eating got bad this spring, so I don't know if the new ladies are part of the problem.

    I've put the four barred rocks in a separate space overnight until noon the next day for two days now, and of course now there are no eaten eggs in either spaces. But there are also only three or four eggs between the nine.

    So what does three year-old laying chicken taste like?
  2. Chickfever

    Chickfever Songster

    Jul 22, 2007
    Southwest VA
    Mine do this on occasion....when they do, they generally stop when I let them out of their house earlier in the morning and increase the amt of people food I give them. Not sure if this would help yours.... I give them a loaf of bread a day when they start and they usually stop until I've left them inside their house a little later in the mornings. I usually let mine out before 8....

    Editted to add that I know when mine are eating or cracking their shells because there is a small peck hole in the top of one egg usually and there are bits and pieces of the others and nothing else....
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I've heard of filling an egg with tabasco sauce to try to teach them not to eat their eggs... but unless you are actually seing them eat eggs or there are broken shells or yolk on them etc... they could just be getting old and production is slowing down. Their peak is 1-2 years and after that it slows quite a bit, espeically with production breeds.

    I've eaten old hens, they are good for soup and that's about it. Very flavorful though!
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    To avoid egg eating the most important thing to do is increase the protien in the diet. Cat food and black oil sunflower seeds have around 30% protien and work great for treats, while increasing the protein. Eggs have alot of protein and the hens know where to get the nutrition they need.

    It is also important to collect eggs as often as possible.

    Darken the nests with a cloth to cover the entrance. Just simply cut a slit for the entrance after it is hung in place. Eggs that can't be seen can't be eaten.... I know these things work. Good Luck!

  5. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I have had a similar problem. I wasn't sure of who was the culprit. I placed plastic egss in the nest, I gathered eggs "early and regularly" and I isolated various suspects. But then my vet suggested wooden eggs. They are harder than plastic easter eggs and provide a greater deterrent. So I invested in several wooden eggs. (I got some from the local feed store and some from a craft store, they each cost less than $2.oo). In the last two weeks, I have not had any broken eggs.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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