My Chickens Are Eating Their Own Eggs

oldhenlikesdogs

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Jul 16, 2015
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Egg eating is generally from a protein or calcium deficiency or from boredom. Feeding a higher protein ration, 18-22% and not giving lots of extra is important. Hens need protein, or they will go looking for it.

Always keep a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

Keep ceramic eggs in your boxes so hens aren't successful at breaking eggs. Keep boxes darker and raised about 3 feet off the ground so chickens passing by can't see egg.

Once it becomes a habit it can be hard to break. Culling the offender or penning it separately are options. You could also try roll away nests if you can't collect eggs often.
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
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Egg eating is generally from a protein or calcium deficiency or from boredom. Feeding a higher protein ration, 18-22% and not giving lots of extra is important. Hens need protein, or they will go looking for it.

Always keep a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

Keep ceramic eggs in your boxes so hens aren't successful at breaking eggs. Keep boxes darker and raised about 3 feet off the ground so chickens passing by can't see egg.

Once it becomes a habit it can be hard to break. Culling the offender or penning it separately are options. You could also try roll away nests if you can't collect eggs often.
This is very good advice. I used ceramic eggs. It worked. Increasing protein is also very good to do.
 

AgroUrica

Songster
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
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Egg eating is generally from a protein or calcium deficiency or from boredom. Feeding a higher protein ration, 18-22% and not giving lots of extra is important. Hens need protein, or they will go looking for it.

Always keep a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

Keep ceramic eggs in your boxes so hens aren't successful at breaking eggs. Keep boxes darker and raised about 3 feet off the ground so chickens passing by can't see egg.

Once it becomes a habit it can be hard to break. Culling the offender or penning it separately are options. You could also try roll away nests if you can't collect eggs often.

Excellent advice. Don't know if I can find ceramic eggs here, but I'll give it a try.

We also have our boxes on the ground so just about any old bird that passes by can see the eggs. There were two hens that became problem egg-eaters but they both ended up in a gumbo so the problem was solved.

I've also had people tell me to cut off the tip of their top beak but I don't know that it'd work and also fear infection or too much suffering on the part of the bird.
 

ChickenJV12

Songster
Sep 28, 2018
141
259
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Hudsonville, MI
Egg eating is generally from a protein or calcium deficiency or from boredom. Feeding a higher protein ration, 18-22% and not giving lots of extra is important. Hens need protein, or they will go looking for it.

Always keep a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

Keep ceramic eggs in your boxes so hens aren't successful at breaking eggs. Keep boxes darker and raised about 3 feet off the ground so chickens passing by can't see egg.

Once it becomes a habit it can be hard to break. Culling the offender or penning it separately are options. You could also try roll away nests if you can't collect eggs often.
My chickens are free range so its probably a predator or diet. I don't feed them layer feed often cuz they eat grass, bugs, and leftovers. I do feed them layer feed regularly in winter however, But yeah, I'll look into roll away nests too.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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My chickens are free range so its probably a predator or diet. I don't feed them layer feed often cuz they eat grass, bugs, and leftovers. I do feed them layer feed regularly in winter however, But yeah, I'll look into roll away nests too.
You offer no ration during warm month? That would definitely cause problems. A ration should always be available and the diet supplemented by foraging.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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My birds eat Flock raiser all year, with oyster shell on the side. they eat lots of other stuff while free ranging, so less of their base diet, but it's always out there for them!
Modern birds need a balanced ration all year!!! Producing 200+ eggs each year is a huge metabolic effort for the hen, and she needs good food, not scrounging. If she was a wild jungle fowl, producing maybe 30 eggs each year, and living in an actual jungle, she would be okay.
Mary
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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They take a break in the winter. I will start feeding them layer feed year round I guess.
I guess I don't understand. You don't feed them during egg production season, but feed them during the winter? They don't need a layer ration if they aren't laying in winter. Offering a grower or all flock with a higher protein is better to help them recover.

You birds are probably severely deficient in many things. They need a good ration year round. They cannot find all they need out foraging in most instances and still produce eggs on a regular basis. I free range my birds too but I always keep the bowls full. Free ranging doesn't mean no extra feed. Your birds are eating eggs because they are probably hungry.
 

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