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Hens pecking holes in eggs, what does this mean?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flockof4, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. flockof4

    flockof4 Songster

    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    Two of my hens have started pecking little holes in their eggs after they lay them. At first I thought it was accidental, but it's been a couple days in a row now. They're not eating the eggs. Just pecking little holes. Any suggestions??
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  2. ChicksnPacas

    ChicksnPacas In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    Byron, IL
    I haven't had this problem, but from other posts I've read, it can become a big problem. Advice that I can remember was to check the nest boxes and remove the eggs frequently. If they poke all the way through and realize how tasty they are, they will go after other eggs. Then it is apparently a hard habit to break. One of our friends put in fake eggs so they would be fooled and think it wasn't worth the effort to peck at them.
  3. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    In the first few months our birds were laying, they would occasionally peck at eggs, but we gathered eggs several times per day, and they don't do it anymore. All of the eggs pecked just had a single peck mark, as if they were curious, but not curious enough to peck through the shell. Egg eating is just about impossible to break, once started, so keep gathering those eggs before they have a chance to peck through.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    My hens went through a stage where I kept finding eggs with holes in them and thought they were pecking them. I discovered that they weren't actually pecking them, but stepping on them on their way out of a too small nesting box. The tiny holes I was finding in them was due to their toenails punching through the egg shells. I got a bigger nesting space and problem solved. I hope yours is as easy to fix as mine was. Good luck.
  5. hernan43

    hernan43 Hatching

    May 21, 2010
    I had the same _exact_ problem with my RIRs. I ended up building a "roll away" nesting box. It solved the problem pretty quickly.
  6. justuschix

    justuschix Hatching

    Mar 21, 2014
    My chickens do this too, maybe it is for helping baby chicks crack the eggs, or a way of marking them?

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