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How to Keep Chickens from Eating Their Own Eggs
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There might be some chickens that will start to eat their own eggs. By keeping a close watch on them you can find out if this is happening. If so, you should take steps to make sure that they do not continue to eat their eggs.

Things you'll need:

  • 2 golf balls per nest
It is necessary to stop the habit early, because if this goes on too long it will be nearly impossible to break.

Prevent the habit from starting.

Line your nests with soft padding to decrease the likelihood of an egg breaking. The habit most often starts when an egg breaks accidentally and the chickens start pecking at the broken egg. Also, limit nests to one nest per every 4 (or less) hens to prevent crowding. If too many hens use the nest, eggs are more likely to get trampled or break.

Sometimes, the habit can be traced to a nutritional deficiency. Make sure you are feeding your chickens the proper diet.

Egg eating can also occur when the light is too bright, nests are on the floor, when there is insufficient nest litter.

Some farmers throw broken or cracked eggs on the floor for chickens to eat. Don't do this.

When an egg breaks, clean it up as quickly and thoroughly as possible to prevent the chickens from tasting the egg.

Count the eggs to see if you are getting most if not all of the eggs that were laid. If not, then perhaps one or more of the chickens are eating their own eggs.

At a golf shop, request some very well used golf balls. You will need 2 golf balls per nest.

Insert golf balls into the nests. Keep regular eggs collected.

Wait 1-2 days and the egg supply should return to normal. Leave the golf balls in the nest. Chickens trying to peck the balls will discover they don't break like regular eggs, and may give up on trying to peck their own. The chickens seem to lay all their eggs in the nest without having them scattered.

Collect eggs as often as possible - more than once a day, if you can.

Try feeding them liquid milk for a few days.

Try to identify the chickens which are eating the eggs- often it is only a few. Look for yolk on the beak, and try observing the chickens to see if you can catch them at it. As a last resort, remove these hens from the flock or trim about 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the upper beak.

Tips and Warnings:

  • Chickens may eat their own eggs if they aren't getting enough protein or calcium in their diets. Make sure your feed has enough of both. Oyster shell and cooked, pulverized egg shells can be fed to the chickens to increase mineral consumption.
  • Sometimes chickens eat eggs if the shells aren't strong enough, which could be due to lack of calcium, vitamin D3, or an infection.
  • Egg eating usually begins when the shells of the eggs become weak, the egg breaks when the hen steps on it and then she eats it. The egg eating hen usually has "egg on her face" literally. In addition to feeding oyster shell as a free choice supplement to laying hens, darkening the nest box by either moving it or adding a cloth curtain should help the problem.
  • Sometimes people think chickens are eating their eggs when in fact it is rodents or another animal, or they are laying in another place besides their nestbox.
  • Chickens who are bored will sometimes peck at eggs, and discover they are tasty. Once the habit starts, it is hard to break. Be sure they have plenty of other things to eat, a variety of things to eat, and exercise.
  • Be prompt when collecting the eggs so they have less opportunity to peck and eat them.
  • Never feed raw eggs to chickens. This will encourage them to eat their own. Remove any broken eggs from the nest as soon as possible
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Article How to Keep Chickens from Eating Their Own Eggs provided by wikiHow. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.
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