Have you noticed your chickens eating their own eggs? Annoying, isn’t it? Thankfully, it is incredibly rare and, in the vast majority of cases, a really simple problem to deal with. On this page, we are going to teach you how to stop chickens eating eggs.
Why Do Chickens Eat Their Eggs?
Chickens eat their eggs if they have a calcium deficiency. So, if your chickens have a calcium-rich diet, then they are less likely to eat their own eggs.
In other cases, most people seem to believe that they simply find the eggs delicious. This often starts once they find a broken egg in their coop and they taste it.
Once chickens have a taste for eggs, then they are going to be doing their best to get their beaks upon them as often as possible.
How to Stop Chickens Eating Eggs
So, once you have spotted your chicken eating eggs, how can you deal with the problem?
There are several different methods that you can use, and you may need to use a couple of different techniques to really stop the chickens from eating their own eggs.
1. Remove the eggs quickly
Don’t leave chicken eggs sitting inside of the coop for hours and hours on end. The sooner you can get to them, the less chance the chicken has of being able to eat them.
Obviously, you won’t be able to get to all of them on time, but if you can remove most of them quickly, then it is probably going to be a bit better for you.
You should probably be going to collect eggs several times throughout the day. Some people only collect chicken eggs in the morning, which baffles us since chickens can lay eggs at all hours!
2. Better diet
Perhaps the best way to deal with chickens eating eggs is to feed them a better diet.
Most people find that adding more calcium and protein to their chicken’s diet is all that is needed to finally stop the egg-eating problem.
This is one of the reasons why the chicken grit is so important.
Oyster shells are probably the best method for boosting the calcium in a chicken’s diet. It is up to you to determine how you can boost their protein intake.
We personally love some protein-rich seeds or dairy.
3. Feeding them eggs
It is not uncommon for chicken owners to give their chickens eggs. It is a good protein and nutrient boost, after all.
However, if you do, it is important that you do not feed them raw eggs.
Remember what we said earlier? Chickens tend to eat things that they have acquired a taste for, and eggs are no exception to that rule.
If you feed the chickens raw eggs, then they will acquire a taste for raw eggs. This means that you need to deal with the problem.
This means feeding the chickens cooked eggs. Obviously, they are still eating eggs, but it is going to make them far less likely to want to eat their own eggs.
4. Making them scared to eat the eggs
What you need to do is put the chicken off of eating the egg in the future.
Our favorite method is to put something that sort of looks like an egg inside the coop. Golf balls work well for this.
The chicken will not be able to break the golf ball.
They will suddenly believe that their eggs cannot be broken and they are less likely to attempt things in the future.
This is something that tends to work a little bit better if they haven’t really tried eggs in the past.
Alternatively, you can remove everything from an eggshell without cracking the eggshell.
You can then fill up said eggshell with something that the chickens will find unpalatable. Some people suggest mustard here, but you can use something else if you want.
The chicken will crack open that egg, taste the interior and they will become a little bit dubious of eating eggs again in the future!
5. Use better nesting boxes
There are nesting boxes on the market that are designed to keep the eggs out of the reach of the chicken. Once the egg is laid, the egg will roll away.
This means that the chicken won’t actually be able to reach it.
This is something that works incredibly well if your chicken already has a taste for the eggs and you want to stop them from chowing down in the future.
6. Buy some chicken toys
Or, at least provide something to entertain your chickens. A lot of chickens will peck at their eggs because they do not really have anything to do.
Obviously, provide them with access to their nesting box, but you don’t want them to be sticking around too long. You want them to go outside.
If they have some sort of entertainment outside, then they are less likely to hang around and peck their eggs.
Check what are the best toys for chickens.
7. Make the nesting box dark
Again, this is to stop the chickens from hanging around. If the area is dark, the chickens will just lay their eggs and leave, hopefully. Some will enjoy the dark, but most won’t.
8. Add extra bedding to the nesting box
If you do this, there is less chance of the eggs cracking which, of course, means that the chickens are less likely to get a taste for the eggs!
Chicken Egg Eating Problem – Conclusion
Chickens are not really going to start pecking their eggs in a normal situation, after all.
If you do everything that we have mentioned here, then chickens eating eggs shouldn’t really be a problem again.
Sadly, however, there are still some chickens that will try as hard as they can to continue to eat eggs.
There isn’t much that you can do about the most persistent of chickens. They will get into the eggs eventually.
The best you can hope for then is to remove the eggs before they even touch it but, even then, that could be a problem. Some chickens just feast the second that the egg has been laid.