Are your chickens eating their own eggs? Here’s what you need to do…

why do chickens eat their eggs

Egg-eating chickens are a huge problem in your chicken flock.

The habit isn’t something you should ignore because it can prompt other chickens to start eating eggs as well.

Then, your egg production spirals down, and you wonder why you even have chickens if they eat all the eggs.

To solve the issue, you have to understand why do chickens eat their eggs. The answers can vary - but you’ll soon have this problem sorted once and for all...


Why Do Chickens Eat Their Eggs?

Several reasons could begin the dreaded egg-eating in your flock.

Once you figure out the reason causing your particular issue, you can create a remedy to the problem.

​​​1

Overcrowding: Unless you have the space to free range, chickens need at least four square feet per bird. Chickens eating eggs often takes place because they lack the space to move appropriately. Lack of space can lead to egg breakage, prompting the egg eating

How Much Space Do I Have To Work With

2

Not Enough Nesting Boxes: For every four hens, you need one nesting box. Is that true for your chicken coop? Eggs can easily break if hens are trying to squeeze into the same box. The boxes should be at least a 12-inch square and positioned four feet or more away from the roosts.

How Much Space Do I Have To Work With

3

Unbalanced Diet: At times, egg eating is a sign that something is wrong with your hen’s diet. Naturally, she will try to figure out a way to solve the problem herself. Eating eggs will increase her protein. Make sure that you are feeding your chickens a complete diet designed for laying hens. For feed recipes and more information, see our ultimate guide to Chicken Feed Here!

How Much Space Do I Have To Work With

4

Boredom: A bored chicken will look for fun. Make sure you provide roosts, dust bathing spots, and other forms of entertainment if you are unable to free range.

How Much Space Do I Have To Work With

How To Stop Chickens From Eating Eggs?

It is easier to prevent egg eating from starting than it is to stop it once it starts. However, there are times when we don’t realize something is wrong.

hen laying eggs

Using these tips should stop the issue from arising.

  •  Make sure your chicken has a balanced dietChickens eating eggs could mean they lack protein and calcium. A quality feed contains 16 to 18% protein. Oyster shells are great for layers. If you provide eggshells for additional calcium, be sure to crush them up thoroughly. You don't want an unbalanced diet affecting your chickens gizzard!
  •  Give your chickens space. Lack of space is a huge issue for chickens. It can lead to stress and issues aside from egg eating. Add extra nesting boxes and try to extend your run for more space.
  •  Add fresh bedding to the nesting boxes and coop often. If an egg does happen to escape from the nesting boxes, fluffy bedding should provide adequate protection.
  • Keep bright lights and windows away from your nesting boxes. Chickens prefer darkness when laying eggs.
  •  Ensure there is fresh water always available.
  • Gather eggs frequently; don’t allow them to sit for long. Check the coop multiple times per day. (Old rotting eggs and a messy pen will make your chickens sick. Find out what sorts of diseases they can get, Here!)

Curing The Hard Cases

If you tried the above tips and still have an egg eating rouge or two, you have a problem on your hands.. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances in which that hen must be culled.

It isn’t the result you want, but she will pass the habit onto other hens.

chicken nesting box

Before deciding to cull, here are some other tips when you want to figure out how to stop chickens from eating eggs.

  • Find the culprit. You might catch her in the act of note that she has yolk on her beak and feathers. Remember, there could be more than one! Once you catch the criminals, isolate them for the flock for a few days. The isolation might be enough to break the habit.
  • Place ceramic eggs or golf balls in the nests. The hen will tire of trying to break open the fake egg.
  • Fill an emptied egg with mustard. She will break it and find the contents offending. You could also add dyed contents if you are having issues finding the egg eater.


Now You Know What To Do If Your Chickens Eat Their Own Eggs

Raising chickens comes with joys and frustrations. When you realize one of your chickens is eating their eggs, you might be tempted to get rid of the whole flock and start over.

Don’t fret yet!

The issue could be as simple as needing to change their diet or adding a few boredom busters to their coop.

If the prevention tips don’t work, determine your culprit and separate her from the rest of the flock.

After isolation, you can determine if culling is necessary based on her behavior.

Have you ever had an egg-eating chicken? If so, how did you solve the problem? Let us know in the comments!

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