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chickens eat their own eggs

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:04 pm
by mansour
Hello everyone,

I have a question. I am from IRAN and I work in a layer hens farm. the problem we have over here is that our hens eat their eggs as soon as they lay eggs, even they eat others hens' eggs. what are the reasons and what are the solution?

Thank you.

Re: chickens eat their own eggs

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:56 pm
by rick
Hi Mansour,
Are they your hens (rather than being an employee of the farm)? How many hens are there?
Egg eating is a very bad habit and can be very difficult to break. The solution depends on the number of birds involved and, commercially, may be drastic which is why I'm asking the questions above.

... but generally - egg eating starts when an egg gets broken in the nest or on the floor and the hens make the connection between the eggs they lay and the yummy egg inside. Sometimes it starts with a soft shelled egg which, of course, gets broken more easily.
Once they know they will start pecking at a laid egg and when the others have made the connection that a hen laying means lunchtime you are really in trouble as they will even peck at the egg as it is being laid with the risk of injury etc.
The only way of stopping it is to take out the offenders and keep them individually caged, keep removing laid eggs immediately. It is possible but its hard work and may be impossible if there are lots of egg eating hens involved. If you have persistent egg eaters in quantity, commercially, they would have to be culled and replaced (though it pains me to say it!)
Try to separate your egg eaters from your non-egg eaters as a start. Then try to reform the egg eating group by removing the eggs very promptly. Hopefully you will reform some.
Keep up good management and inspections of the hens so that broken and soft shelled eggs are removed promptly.

Good luck :) ... and do let us know how it goes. Welcome to the forum!

Re: chickens eat their own eggs

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:34 am
by valeriebutterley
Yes, chickens just love eggs, don't they?
I went to see a local supplier once, and his hens laid their eggs so that they rolled down and away from the birds. I cannot remember the practicalities of the plastic tube involved but it seemed very simple, and the eggs were safe from the chickens.

Re: chickens eat their own eggs

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 7:34 am
by rick
Brilliant Valerie! Something like this maybe...
IMAG0043.JPG
IMAG0043.JPG (46.08 KiB) Viewed 55 times

Re: chickens eat their own eggs

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:04 am
by Marigold
Most commercial setups in this country instal roll away nest boxes, or nestbox linings, which remove the eggs to safety as soon as they're laid. If you google Chickens Rollaway Nestboxes, there are lots of links to commercial suppliers and also Youtube links to do-it-yourself videos and ideas similar to Rick's sketch.