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One chicken eating others' eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by quiltinmom, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Hatching

    Mar 30, 2011
    I know this question has been asked before, but.....

    Does feeding the egg shells to the chickens encourage egg eating?

    I have two ages of birds in my flock, one set were born last spring, the others from this spring. One of the newer ones was caught pecking an egg (we've been noticing some eggs have been pecked, or sometimes we find remains of eaten eggs in the coop). It was nearly broken, and I'm sure she/they would've eaten it. We most often find the eggs from the older ones pecked (I assume because the new ones have harder shells?). We have set her apart from the others (but I'm not totally happy with her new living quarters). I read about putting mustard in an egg, which I might try. I don't really know how many eggs are being eaten because they'll sometimes eat every speck of the egg. We should get 10 at most; we've never gotten more than 6 eggs in one day from the older hens, and 4 is the most we've gotten in one day from the newer hens. Yesterday we got 7 eggs (I didn't bring them in so I don't know how many are from the older hens or the newer hens). I don't know if that's all that were layed or if some got eaten. ????

    As my son was holding her (the egg pecker), she plopped an egg out right there on the grass. Is that strange for her to lay while being held? Does that possibly have anything to do with her eating them? Now that I know she is a layer, I don't want to lose her, if at all possible. I also don't know if there are others who also peck/eat the eggs.

    I'm not sure what I can do, short of giving her away, if the mustard doesn't work. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for helping the chicken novice!!!

  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    You will get lots of responses from people saying that yes, feeding egg shells does cause egg eating. Personally, I don't believe it does, based on years of experience doing just that. The term "bird brain" isn't an accident. Much as I love 'em, they just ain't that bright, and I don't believe make the connection between those little 1/4" pieces of shell in the bowl next to the feeder, and the large round things that occasionally pop out of their butts and land in the nest box.

    I suspect egg eating usually comes about when an egg cracks or breaks upon delivery, either because the shell is too thin or just sheer dumb luck. The hen find it interesting, tastes it, and then at some point jumps to the conclusion that if she could just break these things open on a regular basis, she could enjoy this treat more often.

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