Egg Eating Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickencoop789, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so one of my hens was in the nesting box for a while so I went into the coop to check on her. There were a few eggs underneath her and she was looking at the eggs and moving them around. At first I thought she went broody and was trying to set some eggs. But when she noticed I was there, she looked up and she had yolk covering her beak. Then she stood up and I saw that she was eating an egg. I immediately removed her from the nest and cleaned up the broken egg. Then I took all of the other eggs out of the nesting boxes in case she came back to eat another one. My question is...because she got a taste of an egg, will she continue to eat all of her eggs or was this a one time thing?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don’t know. It’s perfectly normal for a chicken to eat an egg that is accidentally broken. That’s not an egg eater. An egg eater is one that purposely opens an egg to eat it.

    It’s also normal for a hen to rearrange the eggs in the nest before she lays, though it sounds like that’s not what yours was doing. But maybe she accidentally broke an egg, especially a thin-shelled egg, when she was doing that?

    I’ve only had one egg eater in my life, a hen that purposely opened an egg to eat it, usually just one or two eggs a day. Some of the other chickens would help her eat it after she opened it but they never learned to open one themselves. When I invited that hen to supper, the problem went away.

    It is possible a hen can learn to open an egg by eating one that is accidentally broken. It doesn’t happen that often but it can happen. An egg eater can teach the other chickens to open eggs. An egg eater is not a good thing at all. I don’t know if she has learned or not, but I’d monitor really closely and if she is opening them, get rid of her immediately before she can teach the others.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Likely she will continue and the problem is she may show others to do it.

    There may be some deficiency in diet. Calcium or protein? Try oyster shells on the side free choice or a higher protein feed. Make sure feed is available at all times. Some have success using fake eggs, some don't. Keep a wooden or porcelain egg in the nest at all times, she will peck at it yet unable to open so eventually gives up. Also if your able you can collect many times a day so she isn't tempted. To this people use roll away nest boxes so the eggs can't be reached.

    If all else fails eat her.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh I like that. Never thought of accidental breaking. I've had broken eggs in the nest when neglecting (forgetting) to put out oyster shell and know my hens aren't eaters.
     
  5. WindStep

    WindStep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2014
    Make shure to give her more calcium! Egg shells has calcium so if she is lacking it she has to get it some were!
     
  6. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I actually have a feeder that I used when they were chicks filled with oyster shell. It was probably an accidental breaking but I'll keep an eye out to see if she is actually breaking them just to eat them. I will try putting a fake egg in the nesting box if this continues. I really don't want to eat her.
     

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