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Are your chickens eating eggs? One of the best parts of keeping chickens is the eggs. It is very frustrating if your chickens are eating all of the eggs before you can collect them. I want to talk a little about chickens eating eggs today.
Chickens eating eggs
The first thing you may ask is “Do Chickens Eat Eggs?” The answer to that questions is yes. If you do not belive me then just go out to your chicken coop and smash an egg on the ground and see what happens.
Your chickens will eat the egg without a doubt. It is normal for a chicken to eat an egg once it has cracked open. What you don’t want, is for your chickens to eat eggs that are intact.
If your chickens are eating eggs that have not cracked open, you will never be able to gather eggs for yourself. There is nothing worse than when you stop getting eggs from you chicken coop. Lets talk about some causes and cures for “Chickens Eating Eggs.”
Below we will cover why chickens eat eggs. After we know why the chicken is eating eggs, we can look at a few ways to stop your chickens from eating eggs. You want to enjoy all of your hard work. Stop opening your chicken coop to no eggs.
Why Are My Chickens Eating Eggs
You may think your chickens are eating eggs to make you mad. I promise this is not the case. Usually chickens eat eggs because they are missing something in their diet. Nutritional needs are not the only reason a chicken will eat eggs but it is absolutely a big reason.
When a chicken is lacking nutrition, it will seek out the missing portion where ever it can. This can lead to your chickens eating eggs. Since chickens are curious, they tend to peck at just about anything. If a chicken decides to peck at an egg, the egg will break and the chicken will learn that the eggs taste good and provide nutrition.
One common mistake people make, that causes chickens eating eggs, is improper feed. I know that it cost less to feed chickens just scratch grains, or cracked corn. Choosing scratch, or corn as a main feed for your chickens is a mistake. The chickens will not get everything that is needed for healthy happy birds from the grains alone.
Instead you should offer free access to a good quality layer feed. The feed should have at least 16 percent protein, this will come in either pellets or crumbles.
Along with your layer feed you may want to give access to oyster shells. Oyster shells can help in two different ways. The fist, oyster shells contain calcium, this is needed by your chickens and if they are lacking in calcium they could start eating eggs. The second, stronger egg shells, calcium is a main ingredient in egg shells. When you chickens have plenty of calcium in their diet, the egg they lay will be stronger.
With stronger egg shells, your chickens are less likely to accidents crack an egg and fin the goodies inside. Eggs may get accidently cracked by; pecking eggs, bumping against eggs, or from an egg hitting the ground while being laid.
Over-crowding is another big factor sometimes causing chickens to eat eggs. Chickens need space to be happy, not tons of space but they do need some. Do not give any less than 4 square foot per chicken in your coop.
This will ensure that your chickens have room to move around and not bump eggs. Adequate room will also help keep behavior issues in check. Over-crowded chickens do tend to develop behavior problems. One such problem would be egg eating.
Stop Chickens Eating eggs
The first step in stopping chickens eating eggs would be to identify wich chicken is eating the eggs. A good way to find the guilty chicken, is using a bait egg. To make a bait egg, blow and egg out, and replace the guts with dish soap and food coloring.
When the chicken tries to eat the bait egg, it will get a mouth full of dish soap, and food coloring on its face. The food coloring will let you identify the chicken that eats eggs. The dish soap will deter the chicken from eating any more eggs.
Once you know wich bird is eating the eggs, the easiest way is to isolate that bird so that it can not get to the eggs. No eggs can be eaten if she can’t get to them.
What if you can’t catch the hen responsible for the missing eggs? Your
next best bet, is to use some kind of false egg. A “fake egg” is usually made out of wood or ceramic, and looks just like a real egg. Put the false egg in the chicken coop, and make sure to keep the real eggs collected frequently. The chicken that eats eggs will quickly learn, that there is nothing to be gained from pecking an egg.
Do not get discouraged when you have a chicken eating eggs. Be patient and follow all of the steps, and soon you will find you guilty chicken. Before you know what hit you, you will have a fridge full of fresh backyard eggs again.