Egg Eating Hens

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
303
580
173
Southwest USA
I am so excited our chickens are finally laying! It seems we have an egg picker, though. I found yucky yolk mess in their bedding today and an ant trail to it, but no sign of an egg with a hole pecked in it. I searched for the missing egg, but I cannot find it so I assume they ate the whole thing. The first day we got 2 eggs, one of them had a hole pecked in it. Both eggs were in the same nesting box so maybe one hen got a little upset about that. I collect eggs at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening when I let them out to free range.

We have 3 nesting boxes side by side for 4 hens. All have a good amount of pine shaving bedding. They all like to lay eggs in the same box. I think one of the hens may kick eggs out of that box because I see them outside that nesting box right in front near the coop door before the ramp goes down to outside.

I don't know if they are just broody, don't like other eggs but theirs, or if I am missing something in their diet. We give them a layer crumble and whatever safe veggie leftovers we have. I also give them crushed eggshell to help with calcium. Considering getting oyster shell, but I hate to buy a whole bag and them not like it. We let them do a few hours of supervised free range in the yard a day until we get a nice big covered run out there.

How can I stop my egg hungry hens from eating their eggs?
 

Sequel

Enabler
6 Years
Feb 17, 2015
4,762
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Kitsap County, Western Washington
If you're not finding traces of any eggshells they could very well do with some oyster shell. My local feed store bags it up in 5 or 10 lb bags so I don't have to store a huge 50 pound one. They do go through it though.

I just read on here the other day that eggshells are good calcium but short acting. Oyster shell stays in the body longer. Good luck!
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
303
580
173
Southwest USA
If you're not finding traces of any eggshells they could very well do with some oyster shell. My local feed store bags it up in 5 or 10 lb bags so I don't have to store a huge 50 pound one. They do go through it though.

I just read on here the other day that eggshells are good calcium but short acting. Oyster shell stays in the body longer. Good luck!

Didn't know that oyster shell is longer lasting. I definitely may have to give it a try then. I am guessing Tractor Supply or CAL Ranch may have a smaller bag of it. Thanks =)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,001
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I found yucky yolk mess in their bedding today and an ant trail to it, but no sign of an egg with a hole pecked in it.
Could have been a soft shelled egg, easily broken they are fair game for eating, but certainly makes a mess.
Not uncommon with new layer, can take up to a month for things to smooth out.
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
303
580
173
Southwest USA
Could have been a soft shelled egg, easily broken they are fair game for eating, but certainly makes a mess.
Not uncommon with new layer, can take up to a month for things to smooth out.

I suppose this is possible as I have no way of knowing what that egg looked like lol. All of the eggs I have gotten have a strong shell and when cracked leave a straight line. I also don't think all our hens are laying so that could have been the case. It is a bit disheartening, though.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,001
138,057
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Yep, it's a PITA...but part of the deal.
Put some fake eggs in nests.
New layers really tear up the nests at first.
Collect eggs as frequently as possible.
 

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