Egg Eaters! Oh No!!!

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Joe Jordan

7 Years
Apr 12, 2012
My friend just asked me how to break an egg eater from eating her eggs. I don't know. Can you all please help?
Egg breakage is a major part of the problem. Once there is a broken egg, sometimes to hens try to eat it. Once they get the taste for raw egg it may turn into a bad habit. Buying some oyster shell to strengthen the egg shells might help. They need lots of calcium. If you want you can feed them egg shell but make sure it's grinded up so they won't know it's egg shell. Sometimes chickens do it because of stress. Just leave them alone when nesting and do not have bright lights shining in the coop. Sometimes you may just have to cull the chicken from the coop because they can pass it on to others.
Did some research on this and here is what I have learned.

Although nutrition in the form of appropriate levels of calcium and protein are an important starting point with this one. This can be a real problem once a hen has learned this habit.

If the suggestions above don't work then your friend could also invest in some of the black plastic nest box trays which allow the egg to roll back into a protected space which prevents the hens from getting to them. Try putting "roll away nest box" in google images and you will see what I mean.
Is your friend sure the eggs are not weak shells and breaking. My chickens are new layers and now and again I will get a soft shelled egg ( don't get that much anymore) or one hen will lay a egg from the roost and the fall will break it and the hens will eat it.
When I get a soft shelled egg or a cracked egg I throw it on the ground for the hens to eat. My hens don't go after egg unless its cracked and leaking. I truly wonder if the myth if you don't crush the egg shell up it will make the chicken a egg eater is true. I boiled some eggs this morning and threw the shells with some boiled egg attached to the shell to the girls it's something I have done since the girls started laying I don't think the girls see it as a egg I don't think they are smart enough.
Like someone else said up the calcium and feed a good layer food and the problem will be solved.
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I think the yoke dripping from their beaks kind of clued her in about the situation. I told my friend about the mustard remedy and the false eggs. This may bring the behavior to extinction.

The feed seems not to be the issue here. Thanks for the input!
We crush the egg shells enough that they aren't egg-shaped anymore, and that's enough really. You just don't want the hen looking at her own eggs and going, "This looks like that tasty thing I was eating earlier today. I wonder if it's the same?" and pecking at her eggs to find out. If the egg is broken up enough that it doesn't have a noticeable egg-shape, they don't make that connection.

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