Poor nutrition, badly designed nest boxes, a weak egg-shell or just a clumsy hen treading on eggs can lead to chickens eating eggs. Eggs are of course very nutritious and the whole flock will soon pick up the bad habit.
Egg eating can be quite a difficult vice to cure once it becomes established so it is best to act quickly if you can.
To cure an egg eating habit:
- Make sure hens are laying in nest boxes (if they are not, see Chickens Laying Eggs on Floor to fix this).
- Ensure there are a sufficient number of nest boxes for the number of hens you keep.
- Keep nest boxes darkened (a piece of sacking hanging over 2/3 of the entrance works well)
- Ensure eggs are collected regularly – most eggs will be laid in the morning.
- Try blowing an egg and filling it with mustard or a curry powder mixture and leaving it where the eggs are being eaten.
- Try scattering a number of ping-pong balls around the nest and floor.
- If there is one culprit, remove her for a while whilst she is re-trained.
There are a number of reasons for thin egg shells or soft eggs without a shell, some of which can be cured but some just can’t be helped.