New layer pecking eggs


8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
One of my girls just started laying this week. She pecked a hole her first egg but didn't break the membrane and didn't eat it, just left it there and walked away. Today she literally staked out one of my other layers, wouldn't even come for treats! As soon as the other girl laid, she went in there and pecked her egg, too! She just cracked it, didn't even make a hole, and walked away again! What is going on?? Why is she doing this? She is just damaging the egg enough that we can't use it! Ugh! All of the girls shells are hard and in good condition (they sometimes even have excess calcuim bumps on them). They free range around our backyard and have plenty of food and water. While I haven't been offering oyster shell, they get yogurt and cottage cheese (which they LOVE, when I offered oyster shell they all completely avoided it!)! I can put golf balls in there but I really don't understand why she would peck it once and walk away.
If you are seeing her peck eggs...Then, maybe she is just curious. Since she is not breaking the membrane, it sounds like to me she is stepping on the eggs. A hen can cause a fracture or hole in the egg shell without breaking the membrane with her toe nails. If the egg is clean and the membrane is still intact, I would still eat the egg. I would just eat it first within a few days.

If she really is pecking, I would definitely but a fake egg in the nest box and collect the eggs often.
I really don't think she's innocently/accidentally stepping on the eggs. She is a BA. She followed the EE around ALL morning (who was creeped out by it and went in and out of the nest box 3 or 4 times with the BA following her everywhere!). As soon as the EE laid her egg the BA went in....before I could even get out there to collect the egg! I thought she was laying her own egg but she came out a few minutes later and left no egg of her own and the EE's egg was cracked. I put a golf ball in there and later she went in and laid her own egg.....which has a pecked hole in it again.......She never eats the egg or even breaks the membrane. It looks like she just pecks it once and then leaves. I thought curiosity, too, but she's pecked 3 eggs now, curiosity should be satisfied! The other girls are really having a fit about this new behavior and are agitated and not wanting to lay. Hubby says we can separate her tomorrow if she's still doing it. At least then she's only cracking her own eggs.....

ETA: I am also afraid that one of these times she will peck too far and get a taste of egg and decide she likes it!
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Hmm, yea I recommend a rock or wood egg in there, so if she pecks it she will notice that nothing happened and get used to it.
I did that with my laying hens.
Well, she didn't peck them yesterday or the 2 so far this morning so maybe it WAS just curiosity! Whew! She had me very worried there!

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