Have you caught your chickens eating their eggs? It’s a common, but serious problem that plagues many flocks, and the longer that you let it go on, the harder it is to stop. Here we discuss why chickens eat their eggs, and what you can do to stop it.
One of the joys of raising backyard chickens is having a collection of fresh eggs on your table. This can’t happen, however, if your chickens end up eating the whole batch on you. There are a number of reasons why they do this, including:
- Calcium deficiency – if chickens aren’t getting enough calcium in their diet, they’ll turn to eggs to supplement it
- Overcrowding – if a coop is too crowded, eggs could break, and a curious chicken may eat the yoke and develop a taste for it
- Lack of water and/or food – if hens aren’t getting enough water, they’ll turn to eggs to satisfy their thirst or hunger
- Boredom – chickens can get up to a lot of mischief when they’re bored, including eating things that they shouldn’t
- Weak or thin shells – sometimes the eggs your hens lay will have weak or thin shells, causing them to break and leading a curious chicken to taste the goods inside
How to stop egg eating
In order to stop your chickens from eating their eggs, you have to figure out the cause of it (see above). Once you know what’s causing them to eat their eggs, you can take the steps to stop it.
- If it’s calcium deficiency, then supplement their diet with calcium
- If eggs are breaking due to a crowded coop, extend the coop or run to give them more room.
- If your chickens lack food or water, be sure to keep their feeders and waterers full at all times
- For bored chickens, give your chickens enough space to roam around, and try to collect eggs at least twice a day
- Weak or thin shells can be prevented by adjusting your hens’ diet