Have your chickens tried to eat their eggs?

Discussion in 'Animal Husbandry' started by Deeishere, Jun 23, 2016.

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  1. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member

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    We had a couple of issues where my husband went to get the eggs and one had a small hole in it. He also noticed some of them were sticky. I was wondering have you experience chickens eating their eggs. He plans to separate them and try to figure out which one is doing this. It's not every day. I fear if they get a taste, they will think it's food for them.
  2. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member

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    I think it may have been a accident. Pecking a ant near by or accidentally punctured it when moving on and off. Maybe something happened that you didn't see. Hens moving around and damaged the egg? Nobody knows.
  3. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member

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    There are several reasons why chickens can start eating eggs:

    - When an egg is accidentally broken, the chicken may eat the broken egg and from then on, they could start eating eggs.
    - It could indicate a calcium deficiency.

    To stop the hens from eating their eggs you could design nests in such a way that the eggs will roll away to a tray. And include more oyster shells in their [chicken's] diet [for calcium].
  4. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member

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    Ok, thanks for the info. He actually washed it out good with soap and water. Then he separated the chickens in three sections divided in the coop to see if any will continue to try that. It did work at the time when we had the chickens. Sadly a raccoon killed some of them.
  5. remnant

    remnant Expert Member

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    When a chicken tastes something, little deterrent options are available to ameliorate the same. Chicken eating eggs is a sign of cannibalism that can get more serious when chicken fight it out as they are won't to do. If one gets wounded and bleeds, the others gang against it and see it as food. It follows that aggressive chicken should be separated from the rest. If this isn't possible, debeaking is an effective way to do this.
  6. tb65

    tb65 Active Member

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    This seems really strange. I've never heard of chickens eating there eggs before. I think it's a good idea to try and figure out which one is doing this.
    If they start eating there eggs that could be the end of the chickens.
  7. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, chickens will do this, and so will quail. Generally when this is happening, they are in need of some supplemental calcium. Some people grind up their egg shells and give this to them for added calcium. But this may draw them further toward eating their own eggs. You can buy oyster shell at the feed store an mix it into their feed. That should help them quit eating their eggs.
  8. Harrysung

    Harrysung New Member

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    I have a good experience about poultry because we own one. When chickens start to peck their eggs, that is a sign to tell you that "debeaking" is needed in the poultry, when you notice pecked eggs then you should also start watching out for cannibalism in the poultry. Ask the local veterinary for more about debeaking.
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    We have loose chickens in our extended garden (vacant lot beside our property). Once in a while, the caretaker gives us some eggs from the hen's nest. She would always tell us that the chicks are very few so she is getting some of the eggs because several of the hens are eating their eggs. It's not actually eating but destroying the egg by pecking on the shell. My husband investigated it and the conclusion is that the hen had a failed hatching before so for the next batch of eggs, when she thinks that it's already time to hatch and the eggs don't hatch, the hen would be pecking to assist the chick from hatching. I think it is not common for hens to peck on their eggs but it's not rare either.
  10. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist

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    Happens a lot!
    Crush up used egg shells and add to feed! as it is simply a calcium deficiency

    We would save and dry all our used shells and a few customers would also help in this respect and crush to a fine powder and add to some damp feed every week or so!
    problem solved!
  11. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member

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    I have seen this before. Chickens may eat their eggs because of poor management of their habitat. There may me inadequate space and soft areas for them to nest and lay the egg which may result in eggs being often broken and the chickens will then eat the broken eggs. Another factor may me the lack of calcium in their diet, therefore, the feeding plan should seek to include all the essential nutrients that the chickens may require.
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