Is your hen eating eggs? Yikes! What a horrible mess. Once a hen starts eating eggs, it can be a difficult and possibly impossible dilemma to unplug. Particularly if they train their friends to do likewise!
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Why Do Chickens Eat Their Own Eggs?
There are a few reasons why a hen might start eating eggs. The first and probably most likely reason is accidental discovery.
An egg can break at any time, and a hen may begin to eat it and develop a taste for eggs. So, if the initial cause for egg eating was accidental, it may gradually become a habit for your chicken-the more reason you should stop it as soon as possible.
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Stress can be another reason. Stressed chickens tend to pluck and peck more, including the feathers and eggs.
A laying hen requires a calcium intake of 4 grams to 5 grams every day. Hens are more likely to start eating eggs when they are lacking calcium. After all, eggshells contain about 40% calcium.
Just like humans, chickens get bored just like them, and their boredom will drive them to consume the yolks of the eggs left in a nesting box.
The obvious solution to preventing your birds from eating their own eggs is to make sure you are taking excellent care of your birds. And know that while you are doing your best, you are probably going to find an egg that has been eaten at some point.
My standard Brahmas for example LOVE to kick everything out of their nesting boxes. So we end up with a broken egg now and then. I make sure to remove all of the broken egg – yolk, whites, and shell – so they aren’t getting a taste for them.
How to Stop Chickens from Eating Eggs
If your chickens are eating their own eggs, you’ll want to break this habit right away. The longer they do this, the more difficult it is to prevent.
Make a few simple changes to their hen house boxes and living conditions to put your hens off of their own eggs.
- Provide at least one 1-by-1-foot nest for every four or five hens in the flock.
- Put a ceramic egg or golf ball in the nesting box.
- Make sure your chickens are getting enough protein and calcium.
- Collect eggs frequently.
- Provide a cushioned nesting box.
- Only feed your chickens cooked/scrambled eggs.
- Give them plenty of things to do and peck at.
- Get a roll-away nesting box.
All we can do is try our best with our chickens and make it as impossible as we can for them to develop a taste for raw eggs.
Ashley is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, turned homesteader, living in Canada. I have been homeschooling for years and love it. Now my children and I get to learn about and help others homeschool and be able to provide for their families and teach our children about where their food comes from.