Egg Eating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Us Guys, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Us Guys

    Us Guys New Egg

    Just inherited 4 chickens from a neighbor. Have had them for two weeks. The 1st week was fine and they layed pretty well. 9 eggs in 7 days. They have a new coop which is enclosed. (their old coop was open chicken wire with an upside down plastic bucket.) They have laying boxes with straw in them. The issue is that when they were in the old coop they layed, but did not eat their eggs. Now they are here they have started eating them. (I have watched all 4 fight over an egg before I could get there to rescue it.) We added wooden eggs to encourage them and that is when the eating started. Any advise?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    452
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Usually a chicken will eat any broken egg. When it can really a problem is when they are pecking them open to eat. I'd add lots of fake eggs to discourage them (cheap golf balls, plastic easter eggs filled with sand, etc.) You can darken the nests by hanging a piece of fabric over about the top half of the nest if they are front opening. If it is a large community nest, or large enough they squeeze in together, the jostling of the eggs can break them. If they are sleeping in the nest boxes, stop them -- nest boxes below roost height, place them on the roosts after dark, even close off the nest boxes at night and reopen in the morning. Rollaway nest boxes are a good option but of course that's more complicated. I believe it's mustard they really don't like to find inside a blown-out egg. Somewhere on the old timers thread it talks about ways to stop egg eating; I remember reading it's usually a management problem and can be stopped. But I've also read it can be nearly impossible to stop. Good luck.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by