What to do about chickens eating eggs?!

Sunnymommy

Chirping
Jul 8, 2017
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35
63
Eggs have been disappearing! Finally figured out one or more chickens is eating them :( I can't think how I can prevent that other than trying to run out frequently and collect as often as possible...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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More info needed...
Are you finding wet spots in the nests?
Have you retrieved any shells....are they thin/weak?

What is your flock size(numbers, ages, genders)?
How big is your coop(size in feet by feet with pics)?
....and what and how exactly you are feeding?

Sorry for all the questions,
but the answers may be clues to why they are eating eggs,
which will make it easier to figure out how to stop them.
 

birdfreak1831

Songster
6 Years
Apr 6, 2013
51
64
131
I have one hen who eats an occasional egg, never her own though. I watched her, which is why I know [who is the eater].
Last time she ate an egg was back around April, before that two in February.
Since then she has ignored all eggs. Go figure.

Personally, I am not bothered by a chicken eating eggs.
But the habit is curious and it would be helpful to know why some chickens do that.
There are lots of folks in here who will probably offer solutions, most of which I would not resort to myself.

aart is asking some good gumshoe questions.
 

Sunnymommy

Chirping
Jul 8, 2017
86
35
63
Well we object because we want the eggs to eat and sell! We have 12 chickens. 6 white leghorns we hatched last summer. And 6 other breeds we got from feed store this past spring, only 1 of whom is laying so far. One or more of them are who we believe are eating eggs. No wet spots, no shells, nothing. They have a bulk feeder with four spouts. The coop is 4'x8' plus attached covered and enclosed run of 8'x12' I think.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Well we object because we want the eggs to eat and sell! We have 12 chickens. 6 white leghorns we hatched last summer. And 6 other breeds we got from feed store this past spring, only 1 of whom is laying so far. One or more of them are who we believe are eating eggs. No wet spots, no shells, nothing. They have a bulk feeder with four spouts. The coop is 4'x8' plus attached covered and enclosed run of 8'x12' I think.
Unless you find evidence of egg eating, I'd more likely assume they are not laying.
The older ones(~18 months old?)are taking a winter break to molt and rest up,
the youngers(~6 month old?) are not all laying yet.
Do you free range at all?
Maybe time for some close up exams to see.....
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
 

Sunnymommy

Chirping
Jul 8, 2017
86
35
63
Some are not laying. But I've seen eggs disappear too. Seem them in the nest box, then come back to get them when done with other chores to take inside and gone!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,286
72,509
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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Some are not laying. But I've seen eggs disappear too. Seem them in the nest box, then come back to get them when done with other chores to take inside and gone!
Are your nests secure enough that eggs cannot easily be rolled out?
Good to have a 4-6" high(above nest bedding) front on nests.
Can any other animals get into your coop to take eggs from nest?
Snakes are notorious egg stealers.
Chickens eating eggs almost always leaves evidence behind.
 

123RedBeard

Crowing
5 Years
Oct 20, 2014
1,423
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Arizona
Not sure where you live ... if its warm out snakes are known egg thieves ... snakes don't like the cold though ...

Of course if a snake is there ... could be it got there by following the mice or rats ... Rats will also steal eggs.

Possums are also on the culprit list ... if you have them where you live ...
 

Sunnymommy

Chirping
Jul 8, 2017
86
35
63
Thanks for help with detective work. But I'm not seeing any suggestions how to stop egg eating...so there's really nothing can be done?

Yes, the boxes are high and eggs can't be rolled out. Below freezing, no snakes.
They were laying outside of the boxes, so we started leaving a couple eggs in the boxes hoping to get them to move back. I think that's what may have started it.
 
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