Hen eating eggs?


8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
I have a hen and her 5 chicks, one week old. A couple of mornings I have found remnants of an egg in the coop with them. I'm wondering if she could be laying an egg overnight, then breaking it/eating it/chicks are eating it? (they are not wanting for food, btw). Any thoughts? I'm new to keeping chickens. Thanks!
I've heard of Blue Jays getting in the coop and eating eggs, so don't be too quick to blame your girls.
Good luck figuring it out.
A hen with one week old chicks (hers? right?) wouldn't be laying eggs already. Usually the hen doesn't start laying again until she's finished taking care of her chicks and told them to "get lost." With our hens, this was at about 5 weeks after hatch, and they started laying again the week after this. Do you have any other hens that could be laying their eggs in this hen's nest? That's odd, because a broody will usually fight fiercely to keep other hens away from her clutch.

Is it just the egg shells you're seeing? Or do you see yolk, etc.? If it's just the egg shells, could it be the shells left over from the hatching of these chicks? I know one of my hens neatly stacked all the eggshells from her clutch hatching with the top inside the bottom of each shell. That's one tidy hen.
(e.t.a -- elmo and I were writing/posting at the same time, you can ignore this if you read her reply above

It would be odd (although I suppose not impossible) for a hen only one week beyond brooding a clutch to be laying. Is it possible that you are seeing remnants of the shells that the chicks hatched from, that were hidden under some bedding and have got excavated into view?

If there is absolutely 100% no other possible explanation -- no other laying-age female chickens in the building, and you have done a 100% bedding changeout so you know there are no remnants -- then I dunno, I guess it *could* be. I would suggest upping her protein and calcium availability (which is a good idea for any hen coming off a clutch IMHO), maybe feed her back some scrambled eggs and make sure she has a container of oystershell in easy reach, trying to make both of those easier for hen to access than chicks.

Good luck, have fun, hope you can get it figured out,

Last edited:
thanks for the help! I must just be seeing remnants from hatching. That makes more sense.

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