Sometimes chickens begin to eat their eggs. Unfortunately, this behavior is often all too common in backyard flocks. It can develop for a number of reasons including protein deficiencies, boredom, lack of space, and quite simply- the eggs taste delicious. Often folks discover they have an egg eater in the flock when they go to harvest eggs. Sometimes, the possibility that an egg eater exists in the flock is realized when there is a sudden drop off in egg production. Other times, shards of egg shells are discovered in the coop accompanied by egg yolk soaked pine shavings.
Egg eating is a very difficult habit to break. It is a habit that is learned and can be taught to the other members of the flock. Many folks will say to cull egg eaters, as their naughty habits cannot be corrected. I disagree. With time, effort, and attention to the problem, it is possible to stop this behavior. Here are some solutions to try if you have discovered an egg eater in your flock.
Harvest eggs a few times per day.
Be sure your laying hens are on layer’s feed.
Limit excessive kitchen scraps and treats.
Provide plenty of fresh water.
Keep the nesting boxes up off the ground.
Increase their space.
Try adding golf balls to the nesting boxes.
Fill an egg with dijon mustard and place it into the nesting box.
Try a tilted nesting box that rolls the egg to a safe collection area.
Try giving your chickens a bit of milk or plain yogurt.
Investigate- It might not be your flock eating their eggs but a snake or rats instead.
Visit here for more information on egg eating.
About the author: Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, gardener, and cook who pens the award winning blog, Tilly’s Nest. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her family of four and her Miniature Schnauzer. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, Grit magazine, and contributes to Country Living Magazine. Her blog was recently named one of Better Homes and Gardens Top 10 Gardening Blogs. Melissa is currently working on a backyard chicken book with Storey Publishing to be released this upcoming year.