Uh oh, they've tasted egg :( Should I be worried?


8 Years
May 30, 2011
One of my girls decided (first time ever) to lay an egg in the run, which is only about 2.5 feet tall. It was on the opposite side, so I had to try to get to it with a rake. Well, I broke it in the process (ugh!). As soon as I realized what I did, I said "CRAP!" and sure enough all 4 hens went to town on it. I was able to get to it before they finished it off (by ripping up the apron on that side and shoving my hand under the bottom), and washed away the yolk with a hose so it wasn't left behind as a tasty reminder. I'm afraid they'll become egg eaters now

If only the run was 'walk in'. I could have just walked in and picked the egg up.
I really with HC wasn't so darn expensive!


Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 14, 2008
North Phoenix
My Coop
You'll have to monitor closely... once they become egg eaters they might as well become stewing hens bound for the crock pot.


8 Years
May 30, 2011
Quote:That's what I was telling my kids, when they asked why I was so upset. I told them if they ate all the eggs we had to give them away and get new hens. They thought I was nuts, running around ripping stuff apart over an egg!


8 Years
Mar 12, 2011
North Carolina
Hopefully they will forget that small taste. It's when you find small pieces of egg shell in the laying box that you really have to worry.
I have actually dropped them before and they got a small taste, this did'nt start a problem thank goodness.


8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
Southern Indiana
Mine ate two or three when they started laying, including at least one rubber one, but worked through it in a couple of weeks. I collected eggs ASAP, gave alternative calcium to make sure shells super-strong, and have had many days of eggs from every pullet with no evidence of eating. As they figure out what's going on and use the nest boxes more and more, there is less temptation, IMHO.


10 Years
May 23, 2009
Santa Cruz, CA
My hens ate a few eggs when they were younger, but not any in their nest boxes, always when laid on the coop floor or in the run or from the roost

Some people put shade cloth or make the nest box opening smaller, to make it darker, which can deter the egg eating problem.

Mine ate more eggs than I know of, that's for sure...hey, maybe that is why we get fewer eggs when they are younger


8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
Near Seattle
our first two eggs were soft shelled and broken. I pulled the shell out of one girl's beak. I'm afraid they ate some... I just hope they didn't break the egg on purpose - one was broken on the poop board, and one in the nest box. I'm so sad for my poor Lulu - I hope the next one is hard shelled... and they don't try to eat it.


Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
This world is not my home.
This is something you will never be able to prevent. At any given time chickens are laying weird eggs...thin shelled, soft shelled, no shells. They may lay them off the roost and they burst upon hitting the floor. They may get damaged when another hen climbs into the nest.

Guess what? Your chickens will always eat these eggs. They will not turn into egg eaters because of it. Please believe me when I say that my family has kept chickens for 3-4 generations and I've not heard of one egg eater. I feed my chickens damaged or dirty eggs on a regular basis...I've never had an "egg eater".

Every chicken is an egg eater if given the opportunity....so...if you see a chicken with egg on her face, see eggs with yolk smears but no egg or shells in the nest, or you find empty shells(not likely, as they will eat those as well) but no yolk....this does not mean your chickens will turn into egg eaters. It merely means that there was a compromised egg....check your eggs for needing increased calcium in the diet, for hens who are too fat and having reproductive problems because of it, for hens who are in molting season, for hens who are new layers or old layers or coming off broody or going onto broodiness. All of these play a part in abnormal eggs that are easily broken..and then consumed by the first chicken who struts by.

Egg eater that will attack normal eggs and eat them? Old wives tale, rural myth, not happenin'. If that were the case, no eggs would ever survive in any flock down through the ages and it would be very hard for them to ever reproduce. ALL chickens like the taste of eggs and ALL chickens will eat them if they are presented with a broken egg.

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