What makes a chicken eat eggs, and what can be done to stop this?
Different circumstances may lead to chickens eating eggs. Once established, it’s a difficult habit to break. Here are a few suggestions to deter this behavior.
- Raise nest boxes at least 18 inches off the floor. Bored chickens, especially roosters, are less likely to start pecking at eggs if they’re not at ground level.
- Feed a balanced ration.
- Make oyster shells available to layer hens. This prevents a calcium shortage, which can sometimes 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 may want to remove the offenders, because this behavior usually spreads pretty rapidly.
— Troy Griepentrog, homesteading editor