How To Deal With Hens Eating Eggs
I think pretty much everyone loves eggs….even sometimes my hens do! Dealing with hens eating eggs can be incredibly frustrating! There have been several egg-eating hens in my flocks over time and thought I would share with you how I handle it.
The first thing I look at when I see a behavior issue is my hens’ living arrangements. Did chicken math get the best of me and now I am a bit crowded? Does she have enough space and things to keep her busy? Chickens love to peck and scratch. I certainly don’t want them pecking my eggs out of boredom. So I offer my birds enrichment when they can’t be out for the day. People hang all sorts of things in their coops from xylophones to apples on a string. I like the Chick N Veggie Ball that we sell, which can be filled up with fruits and vegetables from my garden, leftovers from the house, or even assorted weeds and grasses. My hens love it! And most importantly, it is a great distraction from pecking at their eggs!
If I know my hens have adequate space and things to keep them busy and are still eating their eggs, I look at possible nutritional issues. Just because you feed a quality feed doesn’t always mean your hen has everything she needs. A vitamin or nutritional deficiency can cause a lot of issues in the flock.
Oyster shells are always offered as free choice to my girls. But when I question if the girls are stressed or lacking something in their diet, I immediately start adding a bit of Nutri Drench to their water. Instead of my normal scratch, I will use Farmer’s Helper Ultra Kibble or Cackleberry Nugget Treats. This is one of my favorite products because it has beef tallow and a bit of crabfish meal in it. Chickens, being omnivores, sometimes need a bit of animal protein in their diet. I would rather they get it from a treat than from eating their eggs!
Then, I might have to move on to egg trickery. This includes adding some fake eggs on the floor of my coop and in the nest boxes. Go ahead girls, peck those eggs. You won’t like it! In the mix of those fake wooden eggs, I sometimes will add in an egg I have blown out and filled with a combination of mustard and Poultry Cell. The girls don’t like that at all!
Other tips to help with egg eaters:
- Collect eggs often (2-3 times a day)
- Remove the culprit if you catch her. Being in time out for a few days can help
- Keep the nest box clean and with soft bedding to prevent eggs from cracking
- Keep the nest box dim lit to disguise already laid eggs
- Use rollaway boxes if needed
- Increase free range time if possible
- Cull or rehome the egg eater to someone who just wants a pet
Hopefully some of this advice helps you with hens eating eggs, and if you can, try and find some humor in it. It is so much easier to laugh about it than to cry! Do you have a tip or trick that has helped in your flock? If so, leave us a comment below.
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