my chicken ate one of her eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Oakland_Ranchero, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Oakland_Ranchero

    Oakland_Ranchero Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    one of my hens this morning seemed to be having a problem laying. -she seemed stressed and kept clucking like crazy. i went outside more than once thinking something had gotten after them because of the noise she was making.

    it turns out i guess she was just trying to find the right spot to lay. eventually she ended up in the milk crate turned nesting boxes that we have improvised for them. i pet her for awhile to calm her nerves and then came back inside. before long though, i heard a loud cry from the run area again.

    so she did lay an egg. unfortunately though it had broken inside the crate/box. i think probably because of lack of bedding. (my fault.) here's the reason i'm worried though -> i've heard of chickens eating eggs yes, and of the warning that you should never leave eggs in the coop to long for the fear that they'll crack them open, discover the delicious insides, and then eat them all up after laying before you can. so i'm hoping that it doesn't happen to me.

    i think i got the eggshell and yolk all cleaned up in time. most of it had fallen behind the crates where the girls can't reach. and then i washed the boxes all down with water to try to remove any excess goo/smell.

    does anyone have any input into a situation like this? will my chicken become a egg eating fiend? [​IMG]
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    You did right by cleaning up the egg mess as best you could. All you can do is to do your best to collect the eggs as quickly as possible after they've been laid and hope it doesn't turn into a habit for that hen or others.
  3. precipice

    precipice Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 7, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area
    (First, glad to see another Oakland chicken fan! We're in Temescal with three chickens.)

    It sounds like you did the right thing. Most of the advice I've gotten is to be sure to check the nest for eggs very often. Also, you can place some wooden eggs or golf balls in the nest, and the chickens will peck them to investigate -- teaching them that they can't crack them. (In fact, I have a bunch of wooden eggs and would be happy to give you a couple.) Finally, make sure they have a good source of protein -- I feed them mealworms from the Vivarium in Berkeley. Putting straw in the nest boxes would help, too.

    Hope this helps!
  4. Oakland_Ranchero

    Oakland_Ranchero Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks for the replies!

    Quote:Hey! Nice to see another Oaklander here too! We're in East Oakland near the Coliseum. I would love to take some wooden eggs from you. We raise our own mealworms and feed them regularly, we would be more than happy to supply you with some in exchange?

    Yeah, we're needing to get some straw but just haven't had a chance yet.

  5. A Carolina Chick

    A Carolina Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2008
    Bad! Chicken. Bad! But I have to agree eggs taste good, I just prefer mine cooked. [​IMG] Sorry, I am getting slap happy I am wired up on caffeine and staying up way too late.
  6. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    So is this habit hard to break? My hens have started eating their eggs. Some days I'm unable to get out there several times a day to get them out. Sounds like I might be in for some trouble!

  7. donnaIL

    donnaIL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2008
    I am curious also, because the first egg was accidently broken and then the flock ran over and ate it. I have since collected a couple of eggs, but how often does this become a bad habit? Also since I have only pullets I can't help but wonder if more than one is laying and the eggs are being eaten (don't think so, as I have not seen any evidence of it but it has crossed my mind). Anyone out there have experience with this?
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    It's a VERY hard habit to break; some folks sell egg eaters or cull them. I think the best thing to try is the wooden eggs or golf balls idea. They will try to peck at them, and once they realize they can't crack them, they should stop; it's a bad habit, and you have to be consistent in collecting many times a day (which is tough for those of us who work full time!). I've also heard of blowing out an egg and squirting in nasty tasting horseradish or things like that and allowing them to break it; then, they find the nasty taste and are discouraged. Also, some folks will put duck eggs in the nest boxes, because their shells are harder to break open by a chicken.

    Make sure your layers are getting plenty of protein - I throw in a handful of dry cat food once or twice a week as a treat for them. It's high in protein, and they like it! Also, make sure they have plenty of things to stimulate them - things to do, things to see and investigate. I put plastic boxes in their run and move them around periodically. I also have a hanging suet feeder that I put 1/2 a head of cabbage in or some greens every few days; it hangs down at head level, and they have to peck at it to get the goodies out. This encourages them to spend more time in the run, and less in the coop. This way, they learn the coop is for sleeping and laying eggs. GOOD LUCK! [​IMG]
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    It is very difficult to stop an egg eating chicken once they start. I have had one hen that started to eat eggs, I blew out an egg and filled it with the really hot tobasco sauce. I put it back in the nest box and left it there. I came out later to find it broken open so I knew she'd gotten into it. That was the last time she ever broke open an egg! So, that worked for me.

    The biggest way to stop it is to not let it get started by picking up eggs as often as possible.
  10. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    You know, when we first moved here a couple of months ago I got interested in having chickens when I saw how well my neighbor's chickens produced. (Though I gave up good producers for cute fuzzy silkies) But the first week we were here they brought us some fresh BBQ chicken, which turned out to have been one of their layers. I asked what happened and they told me that one day she broke an egg, ate it, and could never stop breaking and eating the eggs. Finally they made her into dinner!!!

    Its pretty serious I gather to not let them eat them!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008

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