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Hen eating soft shell egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Volvo Farmer, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Volvo Farmer

    Volvo Farmer In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    Opened the coop this morning to find a soft shelled egg must have gotten layed by a roosting bird because it was on the poop board broken. One of the chickens was eating the egg when I opened the door, so I scooped her up and put her in chicken jail (dog crate) in the run with some food and water. By then I was late for work so I had to leave.

    Yesterday, there were 2 intact eggs in the nest box and evidence that an egg had broken (runny mess in the straw), but no sign of broken egg shells.

    So The chickens have been getting lots of treats lately, especially tomatoes because we're bringing the garden in I'm going to cut out the treats for a few days and see if that cures the soft eggs. My main concern is whether or not I have to worry about an egg eating chicken. Is it natural for them to eat eggs if they can see the yolk, yet they might never peck open an intact egg? I don't know if I have to worry about this chicken in jail or if she even needs to be in there? We're gone at work on weekdays and can not closely monitor them except on the weekends.

    These chickens are all about 22 weeks old and just beginning to lay. Thanks for any help with this one.

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Monitoring is important and if the weekends is when you have to do it, that's OK.

    First, beginners often times lay weak eggs, which invites the problems. Secondly, they haven't mastered being careful in the nesting box with the other pullets' eggs and sometimes break the fragile ones. A true egg eater is a hen who attacks perfectly good eggs, knowing what's inside and prefers the taste of high protein feed like an egg.

    I'd not be freaked out, at this point, but I'd watch carefully, give them time to mature and put some high calcium/solid protein layer feed ONLY out for awhile and see if things don't improve.

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