Hen eats it own eggs

GT Earthan

In the Brooder
Sep 25, 2020
39
15
23
I have 4, 1and 1/2 year old hens which are laying eggs for the last 1 year but suddenly 2 days before when i went to collect eggsi found one of the hen eating raw egg which happened the next day also leaving remains of shell alone what should I do to prevent this behaviour?
 

Ebonythechicken

Songster
Jul 9, 2020
415
615
113
Melbourne, Australia.
I have 4, 1and 1/2 year old hens which are laying eggs for the last 1 year but suddenly 2 days before when i went to collect eggsi found one of the hen eating raw egg which happened the next day also leaving remains of shell alone what should I do to prevent this behaviour?
What do you feed her?

She's likely needing more calcium and protein.

Collect the eggs twice a day, make sure to give her good feed. You can give her crushed shells and scrambled eggs.
 

docteurmccoy

Songster
Nov 23, 2020
312
1,322
133
My Coop
I've heard folks say that once a hen starts this, you won't ever get them to stop, and they may teach others to do it, so may be best to cull. I've even heard of folks having to cull their whole flock and starting over because they couldn't get any of them to stop.
 

Katniss_Everdeen

Chirping
Nov 24, 2020
77
109
63
Australia
My advice is to remove the eggs as soon as you notice any in the nesting box. The hen would have learnt how to break the egg and that the egg tastes good. You could try feeding them some treats and kitchen scraps as an alternative.
 

GT Earthan

In the Brooder
Sep 25, 2020
39
15
23
I feed them with government sold poultry layer feed with extra crushed egg shells, spinach and kitchen scrapes as treats.I also have 20 4 month old chicks in the same place. Could it have been the young ones who had broken the eggs?
 

OneHappyRooster

Free Ranging
Apr 5, 2020
6,870
20,100
666
OrpHington Land
I've had egg eating in my flock before and successfully broke it. The habit, not the egg.

Often triggered if you have a hen or pullet consistently laying soft shells. Or by not collecting the eggs relatively quickly.
Could it have been the young ones who had broken the eggs?
Could be, since there's 20 of them stomping around. You say they're in the same place - what feed are the 16 week olds eating?
 

SulkyBantam

Flock Consultant
Nov 3, 2020
2,036
5,371
263
Ireland
I've heard folks say that once a hen starts this, you won't ever get them to stop, and they may teach others to do it, so may be best to cull. I've even heard of folks having to cull their whole flock and starting over because they couldn't get any of them to stop.
That sounds just so wrong. CULL her because she wants more calcium?!
 

docteurmccoy

Songster
Nov 23, 2020
312
1,322
133
My Coop
obviously not. I don't say that because of the calcium. Yes she can and should try to break the habit if she can and is willing to take the risk, I'm just saying this is what can happen, that the hen can teach others to do the same, and then you're left with a whole flock trying to break them of this. Also that's a big assumption that she wants more calcium, they sometimes just do it because they figure it out and decide it's yummy. Me suggesting to cull isn't that outlandish, I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings though.
 

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