Pet chicken cracking open eggs with beak


In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2018
Hello, we have two pet chickens, we give them free range in the morning in our front garden and then at night put them in a chicken hutch with a secure run. Sometimes our chickens lay in side the hutch and recently I've noticed that when putting the chickens into the hutch the first thing they will do before checking out the food I've also placed in is both go in side the hutch and if there is an egg that has not been collected, crack open that egg with their beak. They don't do it both at the same time but I have only witnessed this happening once so I don't know if it's something they both do in turns or if only one chicken does it. I presumed it's because they need more grit so I've added extra onto their feed but I wanted to ask could there be another cause? Could one chicken be trying to sabotage the others egg or something along those lines? (I'd like to note that we have only two hens so no eggs contain chicks just so you know no baby chickens are getting hurt because of this behaviour.) Thank you!


Apr 19, 2015
Usually they eat eggs for protein or they are bored. But if their free ranging most of the day its probably protein. Could also be it happened accidentally due to thin shells and they realized theres a tasty treat inside the egg. What are you feeding them? Also do you have oyster shells out for them?


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
What all, and exactly how, are you feeding?
Do they have access to feed all day long?
What exactly is the 'grit' that you've added?
Are the shells thin is a good question.


In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2018
Thank you both for responding! No their egg shells arent thin, it took her a good few pecks to get into it and i just watched because I was confused to what was happening. We feed them a chicken grain mixture which we get from a barnyard store with a bag of oyster shells mixed in. Ive been giving them a extra handful of oyster shells also now because of what theyve been doing. Its probably most likely they are just needing more protein, maybe because i mixed the bags together they dont get enough out from the feeder. It was the naughtier of the two chickens who I saw doing this so I thought maybe she was being mischievous :D:jumpy

Folly's place

11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
Welcome! Your diet sounds deficient, and then you've mixed oyster shell into it. This isn't a good idea!
I think they are hungry, for protein at least. Get a fresh (by mill date) all-flock chicken feed, a balanced diet, with 18% to 22% protein, and start feeding that. Leave out the grain mixes!

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