Hen eating soft shells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dvlucke, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. dvlucke

    dvlucke In the Brooder

    May 8, 2012
    My hens just started laying this past week (Well, at least two of the seven are because I've found two eggs right next to each other). We are getting about one tiny egg (roughly as long as two quarters end to end) a day right now, sometimes two, sometimes none.

    The other morning I went to check on them and I saw an egg on the floor of the coop behind the roost, not in the nesting box. I opened the door to grab it, bust before I could one of the hens ran over and pecked at it. It broke and I quickly shooed the hen away, don't know how much of a taste she got. It was a soft shelled egg, the first 3 eggs we found were normal. I was concerned because I've read of hens developing a habit of eating the eggs.

    Well, since that incident we've gotten about 4 regular, hard shelled eggs, all found in the nesting box in tact. This morning when I went to let the hens out, I checked the coop after they were all in the yard. I could see an egg on the floor of the coop with a dent in the shell so I knew it was soft. On closer inspection, it was broken with some egg white spilled on the floor. I couldn't tell from the scene whether it had been pecked at, stepped on, or just broke upon laying. When I picked it up, it just kind of fell apart. The entire yolk was in tact. I threw it out and cleaned up the coop.

    I'm still a little concerned about my hens developing a taste for their own eggs. It's reassuring that all the normal eggs have been left alone, and except for one, all the normal eggs were laid in the nesting box. My wife found one on the coop floor next to the pop door, but it was in tact.

    Should I be worried about this, or am I just stressing out over normal stuff?

  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hens eating soft shelled eggs when they find them is pretty normal in my experience. Like you, I cover or clean them up when I see them. I don't like it but don't know that there is much we can do about them eating them if they happen to see them. I have not noticed that it leads to egg eating, and soft shells are pretty common when pullets start laying. I do keep fake eggs in the next boxes and collect eggs as often as I can anyhow.

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