They ate an egg! :(

Mom3timz

In the Brooder
Feb 13, 2018
23
12
34
Deep South
I've been reading forever before I got my chickens and I understand this does happen ---

I have 5 EE (they are about 1.5 years old) in a chicken tractor. Free range about 2 hours a day. I offer their dried crushed eggshells daily. They have four nesting boxes but of course all prefer one. (What is that all about?!!) The boxes are about 3 feet off the ground.

I've only had them about 2.5 weeks now. Yesterday was the first day without a single egg laid. I thought it was kinda odd, but figured will happen now and again. Typically getting 3-4 a day with an oddball 2 or 5 thrown in there.

The girls rarely make a fuss. No egg song except ONE time from one bird. (I work from home and face the yard where they are.) Today they have been super fussy/loud. To the point I moved tractor and triple checked to be sure nothing in there with them. They didn't seem scared... just mouthy. Everyone has made quite the production this morning and had four trying to pile into THE nesting box once.

Just now they were making an even bigger racket with a noise I had never heard before (excited maybe?) and I went to check on them. There was the remains of egg on the ground and they'd already eaten it, of course. Just half the shell left.

I quickly gathered the other three from the box. I'm hoping it was just a one off thing and in the commotion of fighting for the one box (never mind the other three!) an egg was pushed out or something.

Should I do anything? I honestly check the boxes pretty often.... getting up every hour to check on them, bring them a snack etc is my way to stretch what not. Today it's been rainy and they've been fussy so I didn't check at my usual time.

I hope I don't have a habitual egg eater on my hands that I have missed before now. :(
 

JasperMoon

Songster
Jan 9, 2018
223
180
116
Ohio
well if they eat an egg( like they open the egg themselves and it didn't fall and open) you want to cull them before the others do, And instead of the shells of the eggs get oyster shells and mix it with there food
 

Mom3timz

In the Brooder
Feb 13, 2018
23
12
34
Deep South
well if they eat an egg( like they open the egg themselves and it didn't fall and open) you want to cull them before the others do, And instead of the shells of the eggs get oyster shells and mix it with there food


I've never seen a busted one in nesting box. I'm really hoping it just fell this one time somehow.
 

JasperMoon

Songster
Jan 9, 2018
223
180
116
Ohio
I've never seen a busted one in nesting box. I'm really hoping it just fell this one time somehow.
alright, and if you still want them to eat some part of the egg, scramble it or boil it and peal it, you don't want them to recognize them with there eggs as a food source and id put a camera to watch the box and your chickens, you don't want an egg eater in there.
 

Mom3timz

In the Brooder
Feb 13, 2018
23
12
34
Deep South
alright, and if you still want them to eat some part of the egg, scramble it or boil it and peal it, you don't want them to recognize them with there eggs as a food source and id put a camera to watch the box and your chickens, you don't want an egg eater in there.

I was just using the shells as a source of calcium as I've seen suggested. I let them air dry on the counter after washing and then crush up pretty darn small. Mix some it in with their daily veggie/fruit scrap snack.
 

JasperMoon

Songster
Jan 9, 2018
223
180
116
Ohio
I was just using the shells as a source of calcium as I've seen suggested. I let them air dry on the counter after washing and then crush up pretty darn small. Mix some it in with their daily veggie/fruit scrap snack.
Yeah I get it but, most people use oyster shells as a better source due to it not being egg, its just safer. and get some layers feed, scratch and cracked corn. i
 

HannaKessler

Chirping
Feb 22, 2018
88
126
73
My hens would occasionally eat an egg if it falls and cracks. It isn't a huge deal as long as it doesn't become a pattern.
 

peckpeckpeck

Songster
Aug 3, 2017
488
1,259
226
Aloha OR
Hi :welcome
My girls ate a soft egg that broke, but they never broke any eggs. Hopefully yours was also a case where it broke while fighting over the nest box.

For that problem, I know it's hard & frustrating. :barnie
Do you have fake eggs in the other boxes? They like to lay where they think is safest, & think if someone else laid here, it must be safe.
I use golf balls.

Might help also to block off the one nestbox they always lay in, so that they are all forced to use a new spot.

Good luck & keep us posted!
 

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