Probably you are raising some laying hens for producing some fresh eggs for your daily family consumption. And possibly as pet or to share this bounty with friends and neighbors. But sometimes you might see some broken eggs inside your chicken coop, when you go there for collecting eggs. That means, there are any predators or you might have some egg eater hens in your flock. The case of predators is different. But if you have egg eater hens in your flock, then it’s really very tough to remove them from this bad habit. Here I am describing the methods about how to stop laying hens from breaking their eggs.
Egg Eater Hens
The bad habit of eating laying hen’s own eggs, starts quite innocently. Broken eggs can give your hens a taste of eggs, when you drop any eggs during the collection period of eggs. And this might create little feathered monsters. Sometime egg eating habit by laying hens can become contagious. They watch other hens eating their own eggs and pick up the habit. This extremely bad habit can also causes due to lack of adequate amount of protein or calcium in their regular feed.
Lack of protein and calcium also lead to soft shelled and easily broken eggs. So it’s a good idea to feed your laying hens high quality and nutritious feed that is prepared specifically for laying hens. Along with high quality and nutritious feed, provide them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water.
Find Out Who Are Guilty
In most cases, your laying hens are responsible for their egg destruction. But sometimes it’s also possible, they aren’t the guilty parties. There are other predators too that can engage in egg eating or breaking. Some of those predators are very dangerous and even will consume your hens. If your chicken coop is not properly predator-proof, then small predators like snakes or rats can enter inside and eat or break eggs. This type of small animals will not harm your hens, just break or steal the eggs. You also have to observe your hens. If you notice dried yolk in their heads then your hens are guilty for egg breaking. Observe the hens when the eggs are inside the nesting boxes. If you notice any hen pecking and checking out the eggs, then she is probably an egg eater of your flock.
Culling the Culprits
If you notice any of your hens has stopped laying eggs and still breaking and eating their own eggs, it’s time to cull them. You can sell them to a slaughter house. If you raise hens as pet, then don’t do it. Make a separate coop for this type of hens and provide separate run for them. This will give them the facility for living a quite contented life, without exposure to eggs and the bad habit of breaking them. If you have any hens that is a confirmed egg eater but still producing eggs, keep her inside a separate coop until she get rid of this bad habit. If you have decided keeping such hens in your flock, figure that their eggs are basically sacrificed.
You can take several simple steps for stemming egg breaking and eating by your laying hens. Try to collect eggs from the coop several times a day, more than once. A regular morning and evening egg collection from the nesting boxes, can help to reduce the number of destroyed eggs. Keep sufficient numbers of well bedded nesting boxes for your hens. Keep one nesting boxes for every 3 to 5 hens. Use straw or hay for making bedding inside the nest. Always ensure the availability of sufficient amount of clean and fresh drinking water for your laying hens. Your hens can look elsewhere including the interior of eggs to slake their thirst due to lack of adequate fresh water or if you serve them dirty water. Never let your hens to find any alternative food source. Always keep adequate amount of feed inside their coop or run. You can keep some fake eggs or golf balls in the nesting boxes by replacing the genuine eggs. Your hens will try to peck or break that fake eggs and they will be unable to break that eggs. In some cases, several days of being unable to break eggs might cure some hens of the habit. Try to spend some time with your laying hens and always take good care of them. Thus you can stop laying hens from breaking their eggs.