How do I stop egg eating??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by opihiman911, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    One of my older RIR hens has just come out of molting over the last month and has started laying eggs again. She has gotten in the habit of eating her egg right after she lays it. She won't eat the other eggs in the nest, only hers, and she does it immediatly after laying it. She is breaking just the end of the egg off and eating the insides, but leaving majority of the shell intact.

    Their nest is in a raised coop in a darkened box, they get 16% protien egg layer mix with added oyster shell, lots of vegi and fruit scraps, fresh water, a big enough run area.

    Any way I can cure this old girl?? Or is it time to set her free in the pasture before she teaches my other hens what a good fresh egg tastes like. Not sure why she started this nasty habit after being a such a good layer for the last 3 years.

    Any help would be appreciated before I send her off to retirement.

  2. DizzySkunk

    DizzySkunk Hatching

    Mar 18, 2007
    I put some ceramic eggs in the nests and that cured mine, but sounds like yours is particular. Maybe building a bottom insert that lets the egg roll out of reach after it's laid might help. ?
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Cory, Welcome to BYC. Some hens rquire more protein in the diet than others. Adding dry cat feed as treats which is 30% animal protein may help.

    The eggs are full of protein and your hen is getting what she needs that way. Feathers are made up of protein and the birds need more in their diet after a moult to replace what was lost. This has worked for me in the past, and my hen is still around providing me with eggs.

  4. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    If my wife knows which chicken is eating eggs she will cull out this particular chicken since it is very difficult to stop once they get a taste for eggs. I have heard the feeding of liquid milk for a few days often reduces egg eating. Or in the case of your chicken maybe she needs to go into retirement.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  5. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    I supplement my feed with soy meal its not that expensive and its 49% protien. I add about 1/2 cup over their feed a couple times a week. I also will give them sunflower seeds from time to time. The seeds also contain additional protein.
  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    Yep- once they peck on those a couple of times...their heads get "jarred" and they quit.

    Make sure to collect eggs more often for a little only want negative association with pecking at "eggs- aka golf balls" not the I'm getting a good treat association with real eggs.

    Making the space darker can also help

    Upping protein can also help--I prefer giving them real meat scraps from dinner over cat/dog food which has lots of filler and other things in it. In that vein- give her a good check for mites/fleas (at night with a flashlight), as well as worm her if you haven't recently. (I use DE, but many folks want over the counter wormers). Worms and/or fleas can put the nutrient balance out of whack no matter how good your feeding them.

    Good Luck--if it doesn't subside within a week- separate her for a week and see if that helps--that's just in case it has crossed over to a HABIT- rather than seeking a reward.

  7. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    I know exactly which girl is the culprit, as I've literally caught her with "egg on the face".
    So, last night after they were all roosting I snuck in and took her out and into another small cage with her own nest. This morning did she raise hell when she woke up to a new house all by herself.
    I'll add some higher protien meal and give her some milk and add some brown painted golf balls....and give her a week or two for redemption.
    If not its off to the jungle to live her ripe old age out and eat all the eggs she wants... not to mention getting chased and nailed by the all wild roosters, she will definately need her extra protien and energy with them chasing her pretty tail.[​IMG]
    Thanks for the quick help, I will let you know the results, good or bad, in a couple weeks.

  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Quote:That was too funny! I had to call my wife in to read that one!

    BTW, this topic has always freaked me out. I can totally imagine one of my girls discovering the goldmine beneath them and then telling all their friends the exciting good news.

    Yesterday my wife opened up the coop door and an egg fell out (why an egg was laid at the door is beyond me). Well, it cracked open and they jumped on it. My wife acted quickly to push the girls off it and get it away from them.
  9. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    Three types of chickens, I will not deal with are "featherpickers," "eggeaters", and "man-fighters........... roosters". I'd just as soon wring their necks and solve matters. I have before. What headaches!!!
  10. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Agree Soonerdog! None of those are tolerated here either.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: