Chickens can develop naughty habits if they aren’t fed and cared for properly. One of the most frustrating habits chickens can develop is eating their own eggs. This bad habit is not only bad for your chickens but it also deprives you of fresh and delicious eggs.
Here are some ways you can prevent your chickens from eating their own products:
- Collect eggs promptly. The faster your collect eggs from your chickens’ nesting boxes, the less time they have to get naughty and eat their own eggs. If you have multiple chickens they will likely be on individual laying schedules, so the more frequently you can get to your coop to collect eggs, the less likely your chickens are to start eating them.
- Provide your chickens with enough dietary protein. One of the reasons your chickens might start eating their eggs is due to a lack of protein in their diet. By eating their own eggs, they are trying to make up for protein they are missing. Make sure that you are feeding your chickens a complete feed that contains all necessary vitamins and minerals, and not giving them too many starchy treats.
- Don’t allow eggs to break. Once an egg breaks, your chickens will be more tempted to start eating the yolk and white inside. To prevent broken eggs, use plenty of soft bedding in your hens’ nesting boxes.
- Replace eggs in the nest with something inedible. If your chickens have begun eating their eggs, replace their eggs with golf balls or wooden eggs, which are available at poultry stores and websites. Although not guaranteed to work, your chickens will realize that they can’t eat these “fake” eggs and hopefully stop eating their own.
- Replace egg insides with something unsavory. Another strategy to combat egg eating is to fill an already broken egg with spicy mustard or hot sauce. Your hens will probably not like these condiments and will associate those flavors with their own eggs.
- Build or buy a rollaway nesting box. A rollaway nesting box is built on an angle, which allows fresh eggs to roll down a ramp to a safe distance from your hens.
Finding your chickens eating their own eggs is indeed a frustrating habit. If your chickens have begun this bad habit, the most important thing to remember is to correct the behavior as promptly as possible. With enough strategy and luck, you’ll nip this calamity in the bud!
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