1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Feeding cracked eggs to the hens.

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Dyeworthy, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. Dyeworthy

    Dyeworthy New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Dec 20, 2015
    Nebraska
    Should I be feeding raw eggs to my hens? Occasionally I get a crack one out of the box, I just toss to them and they gobble it up. I have a roll away nesting box, because the were already pecking eggs. But is there any nutritional reason to not feed raw eggs?
     
  2. Venevee

    Venevee Out Of The Brooder

    88
    11
    43
    Oct 12, 2016
    Hello!
    No nutritional effect on them, but it turns into a habit you won't want if you plan on collecting eggs and selling them or eating them yourself. Hens can become obsessed with eating eggs and will crack open their own or any eggs they find. I wouldn't give them the eggs, but you can still feed them the egg shells. Its good for them to eat the shells because it aids in making their future egg shells tougher.
     
  3. Dyeworthy

    Dyeworthy New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Dec 20, 2015
    Nebraska
    They were egg eaters prior, which is why they now have the roll away box. That way the eggs roll away and can't be pecked. Seems I'm enforcing their bad habits.
     
  4. Venevee

    Venevee Out Of The Brooder

    88
    11
    43
    Oct 12, 2016
    It's good that your keep their own eggs away from them once they are laid. But I would keep them from eating anymore eggs. They will eventually break the habit.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Yeah, giving birds cracked eggs to eat is a bad idea because of the habit. No problems nutritionally. Good that you have rollaway nests. What kind are they or did you build your own?
    A better idea is to scramble the cracked eggs and feed them that way. They shouldn't make the connection to what comes out of their cloaca.
     
  6. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,583
    711
    226
    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    I also scramble the cracked eggs and feed them back to the hens.
     
  7. Purina

    Purina Chillin' With My Peeps

    94
    36
    81
    Nov 11, 2014
    Hi Dyeworth, great question!

    While there wouldn't be a nutritional concern with feeding these eggs to your hens, it could eventually lead to a behavioral issue. Egg eating is a common problem with hens that taste a raw egg once, like it and continue this behavior when they lay their own eggs. They might even eat the eggs before you are able to collect them!

    Some people feed egg shells to their hens as a source of calcium. The amount of calcium that is available to the hen in this form, however, wouldn't be enough to considerably enhance their egg shells' thickness and strength. The key to becoming an effective general contractor for helping your hens build strong shells is using a feed that includes slow-release calcium. If you have an organic flock, look for a layer feed that contains 3.25% calcium. If you have a traditional flock, you can bring calcium to the next level with feeds like Purina® Layena®, which includes the Oyster Strong™ System.

    Available exclusively in traditional Purina® Premium poultry feeds, the Oyster Strong™ System helps your hens build strong shells. This feed is specially formulated to provide a slow-release calcium source that breaks down at night, when eggshells are being formed.
    The oyster shell included in the Oyster Strong™ System is a good way to provide calcium because of its large particle size. Smaller calcium particles break down quickly, but the oyster shell particles contained within the feed have a slower transit time. This means the calcium source stays in the hen longer and plays an important role in eggshell formation at night when hens need calcium most.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by