What is the best way to end egg breaking behavior in chickens? We introduced...

Asked May 4, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

What is the best way to end egg breaking behavior in chickens? We introduced two older chickens into the pen with one-year olds (five of them) and somebody is breaking eggs. Egg collection is daily. Breakage is intermittent but worse since introduction.

Warren County Ohio

1 Response

The following information is from Mississippi State Extension:

Causes for hens eating their eggs

The causes that incite hens to eat their eggs usually result because of poor husbandry or management practices. Chickens do not naturally eat their eggs. Once the management of the flock is restored to an acceptable state, the egg eating will stop. The list of major causes and corrections are listed below. A factsheet entitled Prevention of Egg Eating discusses the subject in more detail.

  • If shells of the eggs are thin and weak, provide proper diets as discussed in the nutrition section to correct the problem.
  • Not enough nest space is provided. Provide at least one standard nest for each four hens.
  • Keep plenty of soft nesting material in the nest so eggs will have a cushion on which to lay.
  • Collect the eggs more regularly, at least 2 or 3 times daily. The longer the eggs remain in the nest, the greater chance of breakage and consumption.
  • Provide plenty of clean, fresh drinking water. Hens need greater amounts of water than other birds and may consume their eggs for the liquid content.
  • Cull non-laying hens from the flock. Refer to Culling Hens for assistance with this process.
  • Maintain a disease-free flock that is treated regularly for internal and external parasites.
You can find their prevention of egg eating fact sheet on the web, if you want more information.

Greg Meyer