As a flock owner, several situations are unusual within a flock of chickens but none more than the hens eating their eggs. It can be so frustrating to enter your coop and find the eggs consumed in the nests and yellow yolk on the beaks of your hens.
What makes them do that?
How do you get them to stop?
In this article, we will look at some of the things that contribute to hens becoming egg eaters and ways to stop this weird happening in your coop.
Why does it happen?
An egg laid in a nesting box that doesn’t have the proper amount of clean nesting material may get broken by accident. When this happens, the hen will peck at it and begin to eat the contents. Once a hen gets the taste of an egg many times, they want more.
Boredom can also be a factor, especially during the winter months, when chickens spend more time in the coop. Chickens are naturally curious, so any new “toy” will become an obsession.
Lack of space in the coop or nesting boxes also contributes to the increase in eating of eggs. The stress of not having enough space can result in broken eggs by accident or when jostling for nesting box availability.
Nesting boxes that have too much sunlight make chickens skittish, and as a nervous habit, they begin to peck at their eggs. Hens like a dark, secluded location to lay eggs and thrive in this type of nesting box area.
Nutrition can also play a part in the problem. If your flock is deficient in calcium or protein, the chickens will seek out food sources wherever they can. Since the eggs are readily available, they are usually the casualty.
How to save your eggs!
Gathering eggs at least twice a day removes the eggs from tempting your fine-feathered-beauties. Metal nesting boxes that allow for a rollaway feature in the front or back of the box also minimize the time a hen would have access to the eggs.
Provide an ample supply of clean nesting material in your boxes, giving a squishy soft layer and less chance for breakage. If an egg gets broken, make sure to remove all eggy nesting material immediately and replace it with clean bedding.
Create a nesting box area that has curtains on the front of the nests. Placement of your nesting area should be at the back of the coop away from the windows or doors to decrease lighting. Also, have one nest for every four hens to ensure ample room to keep them calm and happy.
Ensure that you have plenty of room in your coop and toys to satisfy the curious nature of your flock. Enough space and entertainment will reduce the amount of tension and boredom in the coop keeping your eggs safer.
Egg-eating is a common problem but fixable in a flock.
Taking a few additional measures in diet, nests, and boredom busters can make an egg-travagant difference in the number of hen fruit you gather each day.