Why Chickens Eat Their Eggs?
If you observe or read an article there is some that tell us if a chicken could eat their own eggs. Yes indeed, if you wonder to have a farm or raising chickens it may can be your problems. We all know that chickens is an omnivore like us human, of course they will eat like anything almost anything including their own eggs.
But why did they do that? Well if you have one or two chickens, you may find a case where you chicken won’t brood their own egg and even start to peck it. This is a serious problem for a farmer, since it will be a great loss if the egg braks or does not hatch. As an omnivore animals, chicken eat whatever available in front of it. They sometimes have a tendency to experiment new thing. Well not only that chicken have several unique habit like crossing the road and fighting each other.
So according to that, these are the reasons on why chicken eat their eggs:
1. Because of an accident
Your chicken eating their own egg usually because of an accident. It can be happened when your hen accidentally stepped on their egg or when you picking up the egg it slipped from your hand and fell to the floor. Chicken will quickly eat anything that looks like a food. Once the chicken tasted a fresh egg and found out that it was delicious, they will tend to eat more. If one chicken do that, another chicken will follow or learn it and they will find another egg.
2. Check the strength of the shell
Chicken peck their shell to check the shell’s strength. If the shell was strong enough than the possibility of the egg hatching is big since the nutrition and calcium inside egg is sufficient. But when chicken peck their egg and found that it’s not strong enough then they will peck and break it.
3. Lack of calcium and hunger
We know that chicken do need calcium, when they lack of it and found out that the egg shell contained of it, they will eat it.
It sounds funny right? But yes indeed chicken is mischief if they get bored. They tend to peck their egg when they get bored during their free time.
If the coop is overcrowded and does not meet the criteria of the recommended space per bird it will increase the accident of breaking the egg. The recommended space per bird in the coop is about 4 square foot per bird. Try to keep this minimum space unless you have a free range in your backyard.
There are several other reasons of why chicken eats their own egg. But most important thing is this behavior need to stopped quickly. Since when other hen decide to follow break and eat their egg this will hard to stop. If you are a beginners you can learn how to take care of chicken for a beginners first as basic guidance since raising chicken needs patience.
How To Stop Your Chickens From Eating Their Eggs?
So the question is how to prevent you chickens from eating their egg? Here we like to explained several options to keep away this bad behavior.
1. Try to keep the coop comfortable
Hen needs a quite and comfortable place to lay their eggs. Avoid any noisy sound that interrupt them, it also will kept away stress from your hen. Since if your hen getting stressed it will tend to pick and pluck more eggs or feather. So it is important to keep chicken coop clean and fresh for the hens.
2. Try to dim the light inside your coop
This also a great way to stop your chicken from eating their eggs, if the hen can not see the egg she won’t eat or break it. Using a curtain is to reduce the light is also an effective way, they like to lay in darkness.
3. Keep them busy
To avoid boredom of course you keep them busy is the only way. You can give them toys like tetherball, rolling treat dispensers, chicken swings and scratching but if you have a free range it won’t be your problem. Let them play along the daylight, it will keep away the boredome and lessen ther tendency to peck their own egg.
4. Give them enough nutrition and food
Provide them with enough food and nutrition will stop them from eating their eggs. Because if their basic needs of food and water is fulfilled they won’t try to get another nutrition from egg. At least this will reduce their desire to do so.
5. Using nest boxes
Using nest boxes is also ways to stop your chicken from eating their eggs. The nest boxes will protect the egg from getting stepped by other chicken. You need to provide enough nest boxes for you hens if you have more than one. The ratio can be one box per three hens, this will help them hatching their eggs naturally.
6. Beak Clipping
Yes this way may out of the limit, but if the behavior of eating eggs getting worse you can used this option. The beak only trimmed in the tip so it will reduce the damage cause by pecking. Don’t cut it too far since it will leave your chicken in bleed and pain.
7. Identify and isolate an egg eater chicken
So this may take some time, to identify which chickens or hens like to eat eggs. An egg eater chicken will appear to have remains egg yolk in their beak or in their head area. The chicken will also tend to stay around the nest to find an egg.
If you find those chicken, you should isolate them in order to prevent it developed their habit or imitated by another chicken. It may stop their habit to eat eggs.
8. Collect your egg as soon as possible
You can hatch your egg in different place by using incubator or the like. And if it possible collect your egg twice a day or even more, since it will decreasing the possibility your egg break or arousing the chicken’s desire to eat it. Clean and storing it in a safe place so the chicken won’t be able to reach it.
9. Using fake eggs
Another way to stop your chickens from eating their eggs is by using fake eggs. You can collected the real one and after that replace it with any kind of things resemble to an egg. For example a white ball, or you can also use perforated eggs at the top and the bottom and fill it with mustard. They usually hate the taste of mustard. Once they trying to eat the egg and found out that it is hard to break or taste the mustard they will learn that eggs taste bad and aren’t able to eat.
10. Use an eye cover
You can also use an eye cover to stop them from eating their eggs. By using this cover, the chicken will have trouble looking forward and finding egg or even pecking it. And if all the options can not cure this bad habit, the chicken must be separate from other. So at least you can protect other eggs.
So, those are 10 ways to stop your chicken from eating their eggs, be patience as a farmer especially if you are beginners. Read and lear more about how to raise chicken and treat them when sick in the future articles.