egg eating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fowltemptress, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    Jan 20, 2008
    I've been reading on here that you need to take broken or cracked eggs away from hens right away, or they become chronic egg eaters. How serious a concern is this? It has me a bit confused, because once a week my grandmother would toss all the eggs from that day to the ground, and let the chickens go at them, so I've grown up doing the same and have never noticed a problem. I thought hens wouldn't touch an egg unless it had been cracked open. Should I be concerned that perfectly good eggs are being eaten without my knowledge?
  2. SweetLilRachy00

    SweetLilRachy00 Songster

    Oct 30, 2007
    Simpsonville, SC
    Good question!!!!

    I don't really know the answer, but I bet if they notice that it's cracked or already opened up they might have a go at it. I don't think they would purposly break 'em open and eat them! I hope not! Mine just got a ahold of one the other day. I believe the hen laid it while perching! LOL
  3. Onthebit

    Onthebit Hatching

    Jan 29, 2008
    why did your gramma do that? Was it for the calcium in the shells?
  4. MissChessy

    MissChessy Songster

    Sep 24, 2007
    I give my hens egg shells all the time. If they eat their eggs, it is because of lack of calcium in their diet. You can buy cracked oyster shells to give them to keep up with the calcium needed. Otherwise, I haven't had any problems with my hens eating their eggs, but one time and it was because they needed more calcium in their diet. I just scatter oyster shells in their chicken run. No more problems since.
  5. newnanchic

    newnanchic Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    Newnan, Georgia
    We toss our egg shells in every day along with our other scraps to the chickens they always eat them and if I have a busted one I throw it back in too. Never have had a problem.
  6. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    I've read that it is best to cook the eggs and also to crush the egg shell to avoid any chance of the chicken becoming an egg eater.

    So since I too, like to 'give back', I either scramble the eggs with the shells or hardboil and cut them up shell and all.
  7. pepperluvsmee

    pepperluvsmee Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    Seven Valleys, Pa
    I recycle any eggs that we don't eat to my birds and to the dog. I have never had a hen eat her eggs without them being offered to her by me.
  8. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    Egg eating is a bad habit that can spread rapidly. Give them lots of oyster shell, and any you catch eating eggs should find themselves on the dinner table. Look for the tale tale egg yolk on their faces.

    I don't think you can break them of it.

  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    It can become a problem in some flocks where hens will open eggs and eat them all as soon as they are laid. It is slightly less of a problem in flocks that free range because they have more to do. Lack of protein and calcium could be good reasons they go after their eggs. Some it is just a bad habit.
  10. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    I was told by a farmer to cull any hen who ate an egg. He didn't think they could be stopped, either.

    I have had my girls eat a softshell that was in the nest once, though (I knew because it was slimy, and there was some slime on a few of the other eggs). Never had one intentionally break and eat an egg, though, and I get 8 eggs almost every day, so it'd be pretty obvious.

    I do feed them leftover, pulverized eggshell. But they get it in the run, and it is ground small, so maybe they don't get the connection?


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