If you’ve ever kept hens you will have experienced the problem of them eating their own eggs. Not only is it very frustrating it can be a difficult habit to break. Here are a few strategies that I’ve employed over the years.that have worked well.
- Find the culprit and administer a “Mary Queen of Scots”. No, I’m joking but as a last resort you may need to cull out the offending bird or birds.
- Ensure that nesting boxes have a good layer of straw or wood shavings so that eggs don’t come into contact with hard surfaces. We use untreated pine wood shavings to a depth of about 10 cm. Eggs are often broken whilst or shortly after being laid. A nesting box for every 4 to 5 birds is recommended.
- Put some fake eggs or golf balls in the boxes as trying to eat these will dampen any chicken’s enthusiasm.
- Have a plentiful supply of grit, we sell oyster grit for $20 a large 20 kg bag, pickup only. Let your girls obtain their calcium needs from this rather than the shells of their own eggs. Most commercial poultry feed manufacturers add grit but I don’t believe its adequate.
- Set up a grit station within your coop so hens have access 24/7. Grit is essential to aid digestion and in the formation strong healthy shells.
- If possible collect eggs regularly during mid and late morning. Doing this will lessen the chances of them being broken and eaten.