I'm at my wits end! HELP! I have 5 pullets (6 months old) and one cockerel (same age). I got my first egg on November 14th 2011, I've been getting one egg a day for the most part. I've been finding a lot of shells and eaten eggs in the coop lately. During the christmas break I spent a lot of time checking on the girls and learning their laying times, observing their behaviour, etc. I know for a fact that they're not laying in the most optimal environment (Garage, no layer boxes). I just bought something I'll use as layer boxes however (I hope it's big enough). The concrete ground has cracked an egg once or twice. I set up a webcam to monitor their behaviour while not standing over them and I saw them eating eggs! I was so irritated. The pullet who did it the first time wasn't doing it the second but they were all enjoying the "spoils". I watched one of the pullets lay an egg and there was one pullet who was constantly jumping on her, checking her butt and pecking her. When the egg was out she pecked the egg and then started to push bedding around it. The rooster walked by and pecked it real hard a few times (I've since separated him and I'm getting more eggs daily). So I guess my long winded question is, "What is the normal behaviour of a chicken when an egg is layed?" Do they peck them to check shell quality or are they pecking them in hope to eat them?