Why Chickens Eat Eggs | How Do You Stop It Naturally?

In general, there are many reasons as to why chickens eat eggs. So, if your chickens are eating their own eggs, you need to break this habit immediately. Because, of course, the longer they do it, the harder it becomes to fix.

In fact, preventing egg eating in the first place is easier than stopping it after the habit is formed. Therefore, nip this bad habit in the bud with a few tweaks to the hens’ nest boxes and living situation.

Why Chickens Eat Eggs
Why do chickens eat their own eggs? – Image by Klimkin from Pixabay

When it comes to raising chickens, collecting eggs is best done in a timely fashion in order to avoid egg breakage and egg eating. Most hens have typically finished laying their eggs by 10 AM. Therefore, collecting eggs earlier in the morning and during the day is good practice to ensure your eggs’ quality.

However, despite the timeliness of your egg-collecting, damage can still occur. Chickens are omnivores and if left to their own devices may eat just about anything. Chickens commonly eat fruit, vegetables, insects, and their own eggs.

Is there a Reason Why Chickens Eat Eggs?

Egg eating can have a negative effect on the business of chicken farmers as it reduces the number of eggs you can sell. A chicken may begin eating their eggs if their calcium levels are low. Calcium deficiency causes a chicken to seek out a supplemental diet of eggshells.

Chickens may also eat their eggs due to accidental discovery. If a chicken coop is crowded, a chicken can very easily break an egg. Once the egg is broken, the chicken may begin to eat the yolk and develop a taste for eggs.

Therefore, even if the initial egg-breaking was an accident, it may gradually become a behavior in your chicken. And, if left in the coop with the rest of the chickens, the hen’s behavior may rub off on the others further reducing the number of eggs you can collect.

How do you Combat Egg eating in Chickens?

Before ruling your hen’s egg-eating behavior as a character flaw, be sure they’re not suffering from a health issue. Provide your chicken with a free-choice oyster shell, which is high in calcium, in the event that your hen is eating their eggs because they are calcium deficient.

Another issue that may be the cause of your hen’s egg-eating is boredom. Be sure to provide your chickens with enough space and pasture to roam around. Additionally, collect the eggs at least twice a day to keep your chickens from being tempted to break them.

Why Chickens Eat Eggs
How to combat egg eating in chickens – Image by Couleur from Pixabay

A great way to ensure the safety of your eggs in the vicinity of your egg-eating hen is to utilize a metal chicken nest box. Best Next Box provides the sale of a metal chicken nest box, which is not only easy to assemble in contrast to other chicken nest boxes but also is able to convert into a front or rear-facing rollaway nest box. With a rollaway feature and an egg guard that is faced toward the egg-laying area, your eggs will be protected from damage and egg-eating.

Egg eating can reduce your farm’s productivity and egg sales. Ensure your chickens are healthy and happy and that they are getting enough exercise. When a chicken begins to eat their eggs, check for calcium deficiency and utilize the benefits of chicken nesting boxes to protect your eggs from damage.

Prevent Egg Eating by Reducing Egg Breakage

Egg breakage is one of the main reasons hens begin eating eggs. Reducing or eliminating egg breakage minimizes the chances your hens will get a taste for raw egg.

  • Provide at least one 12-inch-square nest for every 4 or 5 hens in the flock and never fewer than six nesting boxes. Nesting boxes should be positioned at least 2 feet off the ground and at least 4 feet from the roosts.
  • Keep at least 2 inches of clean, dry nesting material (shavings or straw) in the nest boxes at all times.
  • Relocate any broody hens, which cause congestion in the nesting boxes.
  • Keep eggshells strong by feeding a calcium supplement—usually sold as oyster shells—in a free-choice feeder.
  • Feed your chickens a complete feed specifically designed for laying hens.
  • If you feed hens eggshells for calcium, smash them to a powder so the chickens don’t associate them with the eggs.
  • Collect eggs early. Collecting eggs early in the day leaves less time for breakage and egg eating. Most hens are finished laying eggs by 10 a.m.

How do you Break the Egg-Eating Habit?

Practicing egg breakage prevention may be all it takes to stop your hens from eating eggs, even if they’ve already started. However, other things you can do to put a stop to egg eating is to take steps to lower stress.

  • Avoid bright lighting near the nesting boxes.
  • Don’t disturb hens in the nests.
  • Make sure you have enough space for each hen in the coop.
  • Keep fresh feed and water available at all times.
  • Set up a second feeding station if one hen is bullying the others by guarding a single feeding station.
  • If possible, provide hens with space outdoors to roam or at least a run with fresh grass and bugs.

Why Chickens Eat Eggs | Extreme Cures

If you have one hen who’s determined to eat eggs despite all these tips, consider culling her from the flock. She’ll just pass on the bad behavior to the other hens, and then you’ll have a real problem on your hands.

If you’d rather not cull the hen, you are down to a few extreme measures you can take:

  • Buy roll-away nesting boxes. When the hen lays an egg, the egg rolls out of the nesting box, and the hen can’t reach it.
  • Place golf balls in the nests. In theory, the hens will tire of pecking these “eggs.”
  • Fill an eggshell with mustard, which chickens hate. Make a small hole at the ends of an egg and blow out the contents. Replace the content with a yellow mustard. Place the mustard-filled egg in the nesting box.
  • Clip the offending hen’s beak. This sounds worse than it is. Trim only the tip of the beak. Just like your fingernail or a cat’s claw, the beak contains live tissue; cutting too far causes bleeding and pain.

How do you Raise Chickens Cheaply?

Nothing could be more tricky for starters than raising chickens cheaply in the backyard. Eventually, with increased congestion in the urban environment, there is more demand for food as well. But, instead of having your backyard laying around lazily, why not consider poultry farming with a little investment cost.

Lucky for all of us, there are ways to cut costs and save money raising chickens. Because if you’re anything like us, you got yourself a flock of chickens for the free eggs. And then found out you were spending way more money on your chickens than you ever did on store-bought eggs.

Basically, apart from utilizing your home garden or backyard for kitchen food produce, such as herbs, you can as well make money raising chickens too.

Start Raising Chickens
How you can start raising chickens in your Backyard – Image by Klimkin from Pixabay

Whether you want to grow a kitchen herb garden as a hobby or to save money or just for healthier eating, there are plenty of herbs you can grow in your backyard. Whether on your patio or even in your windowsill.

Fresh herbs make recipes taste even better and are great to have around for soups, stews, and salads. Not to mention, while actualizing that, you can simply incorporate the project in raising chickens to make ends meet and make a living.

Here: Read more about Raising Chickens Cheaply In Your Backyard Guidelines.

Resourceful References;

I hope the above guide was helpful in considering the best way you can utilize your backyard while raising chickens.

However, if you’d like more guidance with more relevant information, please Contact Us. Not forgetting, you can also share your thoughts, contributions or even additional information in the comments box below this post.

Finally, below are more useful and related to the topic links.

  1. The 8 Best Chicken Coops of 2019
  2. Medicinal Herbs For Your Kitchen Garden
  3. Why Chickens Eat Eggs and How to Stop It
  4. Chicken Mite Treatment and Prevention
  5. How to Start an Egg Business
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