Hens breaking eggs and not using nest boxes

ChickenladyinMN

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
69
2
41
Isanti, MN
I took fresh water out to the coop tonight and a hen had laid an egg right on the floor in front of the door. Then I checked the nest boxes for other eggs and when I reached in the box to pull out the eggs noticed they were sticky from a previous egg that was broken and most of it eaten. Was it the hen or the roo? and why?
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
968
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Oh no. Egg eating can be a problem hard to break. Make sure they get enough food and protein in their food. Try putting golf balls in the nests to encourage them to lay there. If you have too few nests for hens, they may also be fighting over nests. Else, making sure the nest boxes are dark may help with egg eating. Or one could have been just cracked on accident and hens found it good to eat.
 

Wolf-Kim

Songster
11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
3,832
28
221
I would assume hen, just because it is usually the hens that take an interest in eggs. Roosters *usually* do not care for what goes on in the nest box. If the eggs you did collect a sticky and covered with yolk you may have an egg-eater or a hen who may have layed a soft-shelled egg ontop of the eggs collected.

I have hens that will sometimes break eggs if the nesting material within the nest is not sufficient padding. Once broken the egg is fair game to all. I would put golfballs in the nest boxes, one ball to each nest to help break any egg eating habbit starting. If it turns out to be egg-eating for sure, there are plenty of threads discussing treatments.

Hope you get it figured out!
-Kim
 

airmom1c05

Songster
11 Years
Feb 3, 2008
954
3
151
Raymond, Mississippi
Probably a hen. This isn't so uncommon when their shells are not hard enough. Be sure you have plenty of oyster shell available at all times for the extra calcium boost which will improve the quality of your layers' egg shells. I was afraid I had an habitual egg eater, but it turned out she was simply not getting enough calcium (probably because I had her diet balance out of whack by feeding too many treats....blush). I cut way back on treats and since she didn't show much interest in oyster shell at the time, I saved her egg shells, microwaved them 1 minute, crushed them to almost dust in the food processor, and fed them to her in cooked oatmeal and plain probiotic yogurt. Her next eggs were very hard shelled, and she's never eaten another one! Best wishes, and don't worry too much.
 

nellb1016

Hatching
11 Years
Feb 1, 2008
5
0
7
:(Good luck with your egg eater, I have tried everything there is to try other than
Can't make fried chicken yet. I can not break them from eating their eggs.
 

hdchic

Songster
11 Years
Apr 12, 2008
125
0
119
IL
While doing a search about roosters eating eggs, I came on this. I don't know if my hens are eating them, or what, but one of my roos will go along and peek into each box. Twice I have found a broken/eaten egg. I give a ton of oyster shell with the layer feed, and of course plenty of water. I've only had them about 5 days, so its anyone's guess. This is good info though!
 

mmajw

Songster
11 Years
Jan 31, 2008
1,794
4
171
Maine
Try getting Oyster shells and grainy grit from the Farm store it work well on curing their need for eating shells
 

toletiquesbysam

Songster
11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
1,711
6
161
Nebraska
I've been having this same issue, sticky eggs but nothing left of the egg besides the mess in the nest! Saturday I went out to let them all out and I slept in a bit and there were quite a few eggs in the nests and 1/2 a shell. So I pulled it out and all the eggs and went up to the house and when I get up there and am talking to the geese, I see Egg Yolk all down my Gooses neck................found my culprit but can't get rid of him that's for sure!! I'm going to try the golf balls next and maybe they will get discouraged and quit eating the eggs!!
 

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