What makes a chicken eat eggs, and what can be done to stop this from happening?
Different circumstances may cause chickens to eat their eggs, but if they start, it’s a difficult habit to break.
- Raise nest boxes at least 18 inches off the floor. Bored chickens, especially roosters, are less likely to start pecking at the eggs if they’re not at ground level.
- Feed a balanced ration.
- Have oyster shell available to layer hens. This prevents a calcium shortage, which may prompt hens to start eating eggs.
- Make sure the chickens have adequate space — preferably allow them to range on pasture during the day.
- Gather eggs frequently so the chickens don’t have access to them for long.
- Try nests that allow the eggs to roll to a tray behind the nests so the chickens can’t get to them.
If you have lots of birds in your flock, you could try to remove the offenders, but this behavior usually spreads pretty rapidly.
— Troy Griepentrog, associate editor