Why Do Hens Eat Eggs?

I am often asked why hens eat their eggs.

  • Egg eating can begin when a hen finds a broken egg.
  • They get a taste for the eggs, they really love the egg yolk and I wonder if this has nutrients in it that they crave.
  • Sometimes they do it out of boredom.

Here are some tips to try to sort the egg eating problem!

* Gather eggs more frequently or earlier. The longer the egg stays in the egg house the more chance of the egg being broken.
* Make nest boxes as dark as possible. Bright lights in the nesting area can increase nervousness and picking behavior.
* Fill empty egg shells with mustard. They do not like the taste of the mustard.
* Use coloured stones or pebbles to discourage egg eating. The hens will peck at them and when they can’t break them they will ignore the real eggs.
* Give hens plenty of oyster shell and green vegetables.
* Hang treats from the ceiling to distract them.
* Feed mash instead of pellets as the hens fulfil their intake more quickly on pellets and therefore have more time for bad habits!
* Trim the birds beaks or place a pecking device on their beak.

I was given the tip of adding mustard to egg shells but the only mustard I had was flavoured with mead and honey and was wholegrain and the hens seems to like it.

Do you have any tips for stopping hens eating eggs? If so then please leave a comment.

If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

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