If you are raising more than 5 hens, chances are, one of these hens may eat her eggs. This is not rare and you are not alone to have this problem.
There are literally more than a dozen reasons why hens eat their eggs but most of these reasons are unclear. Here are the 3 major reasons why chicken eats their eggs.
Lack of protein – one major problem why hens eat their eggs is lack of protein. A feed with high-protein content can solve this problem.
Lack of calcium – similar to lack of protein, lack of calcium is also one of the major reasons why chicken eats their eggs. If you are throwing away eggs shell you may think of starting to collect now. Feeding eggs shells to your hens will be a good addition to boost its calcium needs.
Influenced by another hen – One of my hens, the Barred Plymouth Rock, has already laid 21 eggs. My Clack Australorp started to lay in the same nest. The Australorp ate her eggs and the Plymouth Rock tasted it too. The next day, the Barred Rock started to eat her eggs as well, and fortunately, I only left 2 eggs inside the nest. I separated them and provided special nests (see video below)
There may be other reasons but the 3 above are the most common reasons.
What to do
Aside from putting your hens inside the battery cage, creating a special type of cage seem to be effective. The good thing about this is that, when the hen can’t see her eggs for several days, she may eventually stop picking on her eggs if you try to provide her a regular nest. But I still recommend that keep the special nest and collect the eggs daily to make sure nothing is damaged. This is important especially if you are breeding heritage breeds which losing just 1 egg is a big loss already.
See my experimental video below
Do you have any idea how this can be avoided? Please leave a comment below.
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