Why do Chickens Eat Their Own Eggs?

Most chicken farmers have two things in mind; meat and eggs. You can imagine the frustration when they discover that they are losing eggs to their chicken. Before ruling out the habit as an unpleasant temperament, ensure that the birds are not distressed, bored, or have a problematic health issue.

Sometimes if an egg breaks within the coop, a curious chicken may make an accidental discovery and peck on the yolk. Sooner, the birds may develop an addictive taste for eggs, which can last long if nothing is done. In this piece, we will delve deeper into the topic and how to ensure that you enjoy an uninterrupted supply of eggs.

How to Stop Chickens Eating Their Eggs?

When raising poultry, it is worth noting that prompt egg collection can help minimize damages and breakages. In your experience as a fowl farmer, you may have noticed some eggs-eating chickens.

Most likely, these birds suffer from a calcium or protein deficiency that prompts them to seek supplemental nutrition from the eggs. Below are essential guidelines on how to stop the habit.

– Frequent Egg Collection

Most hens finish laying eggs before noon. However, some late layers can pop some in the afternoon as well. It is prudent to collect the eggs several times a day and avoid losing them. If need be, plan a collection schedule twice or thrice a day.

– Keep the Eggs Out of Sight

Your chicken may only get tempted to peck on the egg if they see them in the vicinity. Slanted nesting boxes are instant solutions because eggs roll over immediately when they come out.

If you want to protect your eggs against breakages in the process, invest in a nesting box with an egg guard adjoined to the laying area. Do not forget to keep the boxes dark or dim and limit the chances of your birds pecking on them.

– Place a Golf Ball or Wooden Egg in the Nesting Box

A chicken addicted to egg yolk may peck on anything that looks like one. Pecking on a hard, unbreakable object may instantly put your poultry off and discourage them from messing up with eggs.

– Fill Egg Shell with Mustard

A good number of chickens detest the pungent mustard taste. Carefully fill an empty eggshell with mustard and place it where the chicken can easily spot it. A rude shock awaits them when they try to break it, which can deter them from attempting it again.

While there are several ways to discourage eggs from their egg-eating habit, the mentioned strategies above are the most effective. Nonetheless, you can try other tactics like throwing in toys for birds to peck at and feeding them scrambled eggs.

Above all, supplement their diet with calcium and protein to ensure that the shells are hard enough and the chicken does not break eggs in search of extra nutrients.

How to Tell Which Chicken is Eating Eggs?

Time and again, you may find some broken eggs in the nesting box and around the coop. Even if there are other predators like weasels and snakes, chickens are culprits too. You may realize that fowl like coping with each other’s behaviors. If you fail to catch the egg-eating habit on time, it might spread to other birds and make it almost impossible to stop.

The easiest way to catch the culprit is by checking if the birds have yellow yolk around the beak. Then isolate the offenders and block them from accessing the eggs. Most importantly, reduce egg breakages in the coop. Note that broken eggs instantly act as an invitation to the birds.

Is it Bad for Chickens to Eat Their Eggs?

When you look at it from a business perspective, a chicken feeding on their eggs translates to total loss for the farmer. Furthermore, egg-eating is an unhealthy type of cannibalism that should stop right away. We all agree that eggs are sumptuous and quite tasty. Therefore we should not blame our chickens when they get hooked as well.

In their natural form, eggs are rich sources of calcium and proteins. The quickest solution is to provide these nutrients to your birds because they turn to their eggs for compensation.

Do broody chickens Eat their Eggs?

Naturally, broody hens are extra protective of their eggs. Nonetheless, if an egg is broken, damaged, or infertile, they may try various ways to get rid of it. While some may roll it away, others may eat it up. The main reason behind this is to ensure that only healthy eggs remain in the nesting box. As a result, the hen’s lineage is more guaranteed.

Do Roosters Eat Eggs?

Although not all farmers require roosters in their coop, they are ideal if you want fertilized eggs. Similar to hens, roosters can also eat eggs if they lack enough calcium and protein in their diets. Therefore, ensure that there is plenty of nutritious food in the vicinity. You can throw in grains and fresh vegetables or fruits to keep the boys healthy.

Sometimes, congestion or boredom may instigate an egg-eating habit. In consequence, keep your roosters in spacious enclosures and throw in some toys to keep them occupied.

In addition, limit the number of roosters in a coop to a ratio of 1:6 for healthier coexistence. If a rooster becomes a nuisance and fails to drop the bad habit, separate it from the rest or away from the nesting boxes.


In most cases, hens rarely want to be associated with thin and weak eggs. As an effective way of destroying the evidence, they may gobble them down immediately they get a chance. The best weapon against this tendency is offering your birds a calcium-rich diet from an early age.

The good news is that chickens are mainly omnivores and might eat almost anything thrown at them. On that note, it might not be a complicated affair to meet their nutritional needs. Overall, capture the egg-eating habit early enough and put it to a halt before it escalates.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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