Help, chickens suddenly eating eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicknmania, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I went out to the barn this morning to collect eggs. Although usually we collect them once or twice a day, this time I hadn't collected any for a day or two. Usually when this happens there are tons of them, of course. This time I could only find six; a pretty puny number considering we have 38 hens. They are always looking for new places to lay where they can hide the eggs, especially this time of year, so I know that's part of it...just haven't found the new hiding place. I put the eggs in my collection basket and put the basket on the ground for a few minutes and turned my back while I attended to one of the hens. When I returned to the basket, all the eggs were gone...only a few pieces of shell! Recently we have noticed them eating other eggs occasionally, although normally they will only do it if there is a broken one. We have been putting egg shells in our compost pile and the chickens have been foraging there...could this be why they've developed a taste for eggs? They have never been this bad before. Or is it a dietary deficiency of some kind? We feed them layer mixed with scratch, they free range, and also have oyster shell if they need it.
  2. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Wasn't this posted somewhere else? Or maybe that was someone else...
    Oh well, here is an article from Kansas State University that clearly explains why and how to prevent chickens from eating eggs. It is really worth reading; short and to the point:

    I know it will help you out. Best of luck, and keep us posted.
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    I somewhat agree with that flyer....

    1. put golfballs in the nests. I few hits on those and it jars their little heads! It's golfballs in particular.

    2. collect eggs often

    3. If you find that one particular one does it (or starts it), remove her from the flock for a week

    4. Give calcium (oyster shell) free choice, and boost their protein for a few days (I prefer giving leftover meat from my dinners as a protein boost, but have used catfood--don't like the fillers though).

    5. It can become a HABIT....breaking the habit will be cruicial.

    Not knowing your situation...make sure they're not crowded or bored. If they freerange then typically this suggestion is moot.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  4. chrissieg

    chrissieg Songster

    I've not tried this, but blow an egg and fill it with mustard, presumably with a syringe or icing nozzle, and I reckon it should be English mustard (hot and yellow)! A nasty surprize!! [​IMG]
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Whoops, sorry, yeah, tonight I just noticed somebody else posted the same topic! I was in a hurry this morning and didn't take time to read anyone else's posts. That's weird though...I wonder if this time of year has something to do with increased egg eating? Thanks for all the tips!
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Also, ...everyone talks about how their chickens love catfood but I have tried big and little bites, breaking it up, leaving it whole, and etc, and our chickens just look at me like "you expect us to eat this???? What about canned catfood?
  7. chrissieg

    chrissieg Songster

    My chickens get all the leftover catfood, but is the 'wet' sort. It generally starts a feeding frenzy - so stand well back!

    If you have a choice I would keep away from the fish variety just in case it works and you DO get some eggs!!!
  8. xrayman

    xrayman In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2007
    Central IA
    I had one hen that was a egg eater. A old timer told me to clip her beak. Just clip the top one where it hooks. worked great. Dog nail trimmers or wire cutters (side cutters) work the best. just clip a little, less about 1/8" or a couple mm and don't get her tongue.
  9. Pringle_Sussex

    Pringle_Sussex Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    Quote:[​IMG] thats what i did when i had a couple eating eggs... except i mixed mustard with curry and chilli powder... [​IMG] it was funny to see them shaking their heads because their beaks were hot.. they rushed to the water..... i know it was mean but they learnt their lesson... eggs are for human consumtion!

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