Hens eating eggs

DesertChickensPSR

In the Brooder
Oct 9, 2018
7
2
21
Any advice on how to stop hens from eating eggs from nest boxes? My nightmare has come true, I can’t believe they are doing this. Background: We just moved last month so that was a bit stressful for the flock. We also have quite a few hens that are molting. I feed Dumor 16% layer feed and supplement with sunflower seeds and mealworms as a treat. They have an enclosed run with plenty of space, but they were free range before we moved last month so maybe that’s another factor as to why they are doing this. My flock is 27 total with 17 hens, 8 pullets, and 2 roosters. The roosters are both being rehomed tomorrow so they won’t be a stress to the hens anymore. I’ve read that once chickens start eating eggs they will never stop but I’m hoping that’s not true. Please help!!
 

BYCforlife

Crossing the Road
Mar 18, 2017
2,369
10,228
767
Alberta, Canada
I have lots of problems with that too. My chickens do it whenever they are bored. Now, the problem is how to keep them occupied! I let my chickens free range, which solved the problem for about 3 weeks, then they started again. I think the only way to stop them is to build or buy roll-out nesting boxes. You can find designs for them all over the internet, and I'm sure some other people on here will have pictures of theirs.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,442
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Western Ohio
Quick resolution: buy many fake eggs. I found good deals on Amazon and this last time bought the painted wood ones. We have also used the ceramic ones. Golf balls can also work.


A couple of hens were habitually doing this so we put about 4-5 fake eggs per nest box and made sure to collect 2x per day. Now we do not have egg eaters.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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I've gone through bouts of egg eating several times. Sometimes it happens when poor shell quality creates a broken egg and they find out how good eggs taste. Sometimes it happens when an opossum gets in the nest and creates a mess. Bottom line is they will likely continue to break eggs till you can break the habit.
The best thing to do is get a bunch of ceramic or wooden eggs and fill the nests with them. Collect real eggs often and when they can't break the fake eggs that may break the habit.
Roll out nests is another option.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
97,966
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My Coop
My Coop
I've gone through bouts of egg eating several times. Sometimes it happens when poor shell quality creates a broken egg and they find out how good eggs taste. Sometimes it happens when an opossum gets in the nest and creates a mess. Bottom line is they will likely continue to break eggs till you can break the habit.
The best thing to do is get a bunch of ceramic or wooden eggs and fill the nests with them. Collect real eggs often and when they can't break the fake eggs that may break the habit.
Roll out nests is another option.
Ditto Dat^^^

If the hens are ~18 months old, ramping down production due to shortening days can make for some funky eggs.
If the pullets just starting to lay can too, plus curiosity pecking from pullets can open the buffet.

They have an enclosed run with plenty of space
How big is 'plenty of space' in feet by feet?
How big is the coop?
Dimensions and pics might help.

I'd get them on a higher protein feed.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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southern Michigan
I feed a 20% protein feed, Purina Flock Raiser, with separate oyster shell, and I think it makes a difference. your molting stresses birds need more than a 'bare bones' diet.
Ceramic eggs and more frequent egg collections, and if you watch often, try to ID the birds with yolk on their beaks. You could have one bird who starts the process, and eliminating that bird can fix it. Maybe.
Roll out nest boxes are good too.
Do you have a hen who's producing very thin shelled eggs? Is someone feasting on sunflower seeds and not eating enough 'real food'?
How big is your coop and run?
Mary
 

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