Once and egg eater always an egg eater?????


10 Years
Jan 28, 2009
(south West) Virginia
I got alot of eggs from my barred rock pair lastyear and this year all my other pairs are laying real well except for them. I noticed back whe it was real cold a month ago there was a broke egg in the pen with the barreds that had been half way eaten.. I thought well its froze and busted.

I went out just a few mins ago and seen one of the barred hens in the bucket that they lay in, I seen 2 eggs in there with her so I open the pen up and go to get them... well she's eating one of them.. so Imdediatley I grabbed her and she's in with my juv chickens now that arent laying yet.

She didn't do this last year, what would be making her do it know? and once they start do they continue to do it, and is there any way to break them???
Improve their diet with oyster shell and cheap cat food 2 times per week. I had one doing it and I really think she was just depleted from a long winter of laying. Also collect eggs sooner to reduce opportunity.
I'd imagine an egg broke by accident and she got a taste. I saw a post yesterday where someone put wooden eggs in the nest. The egg-eater got no satisfaction trying to break the egg and kind of unlearned the habit. I think it was the same post, but someone also used a dremel tool to round off the tip of her beak so it was not pointed, making it harder for her to break the shell. You might do a search. Key word "dremel" might work.

Maybe chicken prison for a few days with wooden eggs (or golf balls, egg-shaped rocks, plastic eggs filled with something heavy and glued shut?) and gathering her eggs as soon as reasonable after she lays them might work.
i had egg eaters and so far what i did and am doing is working. I rearranged the coop one day, during egg laying time. they were really confused and very distracted. after that, all morning and afternoon I was working on another yard for them and each time i would hear the egg laying song, i would run in the coop and snatch them right up. i also put golf balls in their favorite boxes. i go check for eggs four or five times a day. of course for me that is doable as i don't work outside the home. also, i finished their other yard so i spied on the girls and found the one that seemed to be instigating the egg eating and i totally moved her into the new yard with some others chickens and she is not eating eggs now either. so ..... good luck.....
i know it is frustrating.
Mine have been doing the same thing this winter. I have to agree that rearranging helps. I moved their laying box facing a different direction and since then I've been able to get to the eggs every day in time. I had to go and buy some a week ago since they were eating them all! I did have a golf ball in there once but after it being in there all of the time one of the hens went broody and wouldn't get off of the thing.
When I saw that my chickens had eaten an egg, I flooded the nest boxes with ceramic eggs (Cracker Barrel, EggCartons.com) and even put a couple in the coop. I've had a couple pecked eggs since then, but none eaten (that I know of) since then.

Good luck!
All of the above is good advice. I had the same thing problem with a pullet last December. I rearranged, added bucket nests, added fake eggs, collected eggs more often. Broke the problem. I think speed is the key to stop the bad habit, and keep it from speading. Others on her have had success with filling fake or blown out eggs with hot stuff like mustard and/or horseradish. Also adding curtain to make the nest boxes dark. Good Luck.

We ended up having to make rollaway nest boxes with lexan tubs. We cut 4" of the lids and snapped them on the downhill side of the slope. We put a piece of scrap wood under the back of the tub to make the slope. We lined the tubs with leftover berber carpet blocks for them to sit on. I can see the eggs in the front of the clear tub but the girls can't reach them.

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