Remains of egg in nest


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 29, 2013
Gold Coast, Australia
I have 6 girls and 5 of them have been laying every day for the last three weeks (when they started laying). The 6th girl started laying just a couple of days ago. Yesterday I let them out of the coop to free range really early and I noticed I only collected 4 eggs yesterday (I thought perhaps there was a chance the other two laid in the garden somewhere but usually they always go back to the coop to lay, even if they are out free ranging). This morning I opened up at 6am and collected 3 eggs. I went back to let them out of the run to free range 3 hours later and when I went to collect the remaining eggs, there were two whole ones but what looked like a lot of wetness in the nest, on closer inspection I found little pieces of shell stuck to one of the eggs and then one of the girls came in and grabbed a bit of shell that had fell onto the floor and ate it.

I have 4 nest boxes but for some reason they all use the same one, they are all identical so I don't know why they don't use the others. Could it be that they stepped on it and broke an egg, or is it something to do with 2 of them not laying yesterday?

I feed them layer feed and also give them kitchen scraps every day, not huge amounts but a little bit for a treat. The shells on their eggs have been hard from the start and always perfect eggs.

I'm very new to keeping chickens so any advice would be great thank you!
If the pieces of shell were hard, you could have either an egg eater or the egg just broke. I'm thinking that you have an egg eater since I have never found a perfect egg that broke in the nesting box. Watch and see if eggs keep breaking.

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