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My chickens just ate one of their eggs. Help


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They will do this and you are in danger of them continuing to do it. 

Here’s what I have done:

put a wooden or ceramic fake egg (or a golf ball will do) in their nestbox(es). Make a big effort to collect the eggs as early as you can, so they don’t sit there. The combination of always having a golf ball there, which obviously provides no reward for pecking, and removing the eggs as promptly as possible to prevent them getting the “reward” of eating the egg, should do it. But as you probably know, chickens habituate very easily, so it is essential to mess with their plans immediately with a dummy egg. 

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I also have read that feeding the eggshells to them is very healthy. I read this on homesteadandchill.com, but I can't find the exact post. Maybe it would stem their taste for actual eggs?

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10 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I also have read that feeding the eggshells to them is very healthy. I read this on homesteadandchill.com, but I can't find the exact post. Maybe it would stem their taste for actual eggs?

I have read the opposite, despite the benefits of enriching them with calcium. I read feeding them eggshells makes them more likely to eat eggs. 

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Why - because they’re scavengers and will eat anything, and sometimes if they figure out eggs are full of food, they get into a habit of stomping them to access the tasty treat inside. They’re too dumb to realize/care that if they do that they can’t pass along their genes.

Ive not ever tried to break one of the habit. The egg-stomper we had was a rooster, and a jerk anyway, so we got rid of him.

I do still feed eggshells to my hens, and it doesn’t seem to cause egg cannibalism, but maybe in some cases it could.🤷‍♀️

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5 minutes ago, emba56 said:

Why - because they’re scavengers and will eat anything, and sometimes if they figure out eggs are full of food, they get into a habit of stomping them to access the tasty treat inside. They’re too dumb to realize/care that if they do that they can’t pass along their genes.

Ive not ever tried to break one of the habit. The egg-stomper we had was a rooster, and a jerk anyway, so we got rid of him.

I do still feed eggshells to my hens, and it doesn’t seem to cause egg cannibalism, but maybe in some cases it could.🤷‍♀️

These are all girls.  Sigh

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Increase the protein in their diet.  Mine have periodically done this but in spite of the dire predictions it’s never become a life long habit.  The other thing that sometimes happens if you have soft shell is the eggs will crack a bit and any cracked egg tends to be fair game.

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25 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Increase the protein in their diet.  Mine have periodically done this but in spite of the dire predictions it’s never become a life long habit.  The other thing that sometimes happens if you have soft shell is the eggs will crack a bit and any cracked egg tends to be fair game.

What do you feed them to increase protein?

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5 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Oh ok?  I thought I had read this would make them do it all the time. 

My SIL got rid of her chickens because they became such committed egg-eaters, a couple of them would sit there waiting for the hen on the nest to lay and would immediately peck the egg and eat it. 

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9 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

What do you feed them to increase protein?

You can look for a specifically formulated feed or I think some people do meal worms and if they free range and peck bugs etc it’s good.  (I realise that’s not always possible).  They are meant to be omnivores.  Some people feed meat scraps some don’t.  Mostly I’ve had trouble with mine when they’ve been on a cheaper feed mix that’s mostly wheat or when they are locked up and bored.

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20 hours ago, Quill said:

They will do this and you are in danger of them continuing to do it. 

Here’s what I have done:

put a wooden or ceramic fake egg (or a golf ball will do) in their nestbox(es). Make a big effort to collect the eggs as early as you can, so they don’t sit there. The combination of always having a golf ball there, which obviously provides no reward for pecking, and removing the eggs as promptly as possible to prevent them getting the “reward” of eating the egg, should do it. But as you probably know, chickens habituate very easily, so it is essential to mess with their plans immediately with a dummy egg. 

This is what we did, too, and it worked remarkably well.  I had my doubts that they would actually be fooled by a golf ball but as it turns out, chickens are not exactly geniuses.

Edited by JennyD
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Our chickens have pecked at their eggs a couple of times. I didn't do anything and they stopped on their own.

You can feed scrambled eggs for protein. You just don't want any eggs you feed them to resemble the ones they lay so cooking them usually does the trick. Also crush any eggs shells you give to almost a powder so they don't associate them with the eggs they lay.

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