Found an Eaten Egg!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chemew, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. chemew

    chemew Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2011
    I found a little less than half of an eaten egg in a nest box today. The first time this has happened for the four months we've had the chickens. I've been feeding them layer pellets with a daily scratch (sometimes twice daily) supplement along with grit. I also put out a "flock block" that has oyster shell mixed in. I looked around the coop and yard and checked the chickens for evidence of who ate the egg (was looking for maybe some yolk mashed in the feathers) but didn't see anything.

    How can I tell if one of the chickens ate the egg or if it was eaten by something else, e.g. a mouse? I've seen a mouse run out of the chicken coop one morning about a week ago and haven't seen it again since.

    Any suggestions? I'd really like to not starting losing all our eggs!
     
  2. emerald eyes

    emerald eyes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2011
    Sometimes hens will eat an egg, especially if the egg broke while being laid. I have seen mice in my coop, once in a while but usually the hens will chase it out or kill it for entering their space. Is the egg in the nesting box? If so, I would guess one of the chickens ate it. I have seen one of my hens lay a shell-less egg, then immediately eat it. Almost as if she knew something was wrong with it. I sometimes throw broken eggs into the coop for them to eat, figured they might as well get the nutrition if I can't eat it. I haven't had trouble with egg eating, but a friend of mine has a hen that like to eat them.
     
  3. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    You should never let hens eat eggs that resemble what comes out of their bodies. It is a super nutritious food for them, but they can and do develop a taste for it and will destroy the eggs as soon as they're laid, leaving none for you. I've heard it is a difficult habit to break.

    If you want to feed eggshell back to them for calcium, air-dry and finely grind the shells so they do NOT resemble an egg shape. People often scramble eggs to feed the chickens, again so they are unidentifiable (it doesn't matter if you cook it or not, as long as the yolk is broken and scrambled). It can be a big problem if you encourage that behavior (well, only if you like to eat eggs) - just like dogs that get a taste for chicken.
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    no, that won't make them into egg eaters. I give my shells a light smoosh, just so they don't take up as much space in the bowl. If an egg gets dropped in the pen, the birds eat it. If it gets dropped outside the pen, it's a race between the chickens and the dogs to see who gets it first. I've never had an egg eater.

    My mother had one many years ago, but she started eating eggs as a young pullet. My grandmother remembers 1 or 2, but then again she is almost 90 so you would expect to see a few egg eaters in that amount of time. I think it just depends on the individual bird, more than anything.

    OP, if this is the first time, I wouldn't worry yet. As others have said, it could have been accidentally broken or a soft-shell egg.
     
  5. emerald eyes

    emerald eyes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2011
    Quote:When I let them eat the eggs, I make sure to break it (smash it actually). There has been a few times the egg did not break when it hit the ground or missed the rock I was aiming for, they chase it until they realize its still whole, then walk away & stare at me. I often wonder what they are thinking "what my egg isn't good enough" or something like that. I have often found eggs around the pen, maybe the nesting box was full when they needed to lay, but I have never found half eaten eggs in the boxes, even the broken ones are usually left (which makes a mess) for me to clean up. The only ones I have seen them ate, are the ones that don't have a shell.
     

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