AT some stage you may have to deal with the problem of chooks becoming egg eaters. Whether it is out of boredom or because they are hungry and don’t have enough feed or need extra calcium, it is a problem that has to be dealt with quickly before others in the flock catch on.
One of the best ways to reduce the potential for egg eating is to collect eggs from the nest box as often as you can, at least twice a day if possible. Eggs that are left in the nest box stand more chance of being accidentally broken by another bird; it will be then be eaten by successive birds that come into the area. You know chooks – they are sticky beaks, so everyone is bound to get in on the act!
This is why it is crucial to collect eggs as soon and often as you can. I find that my chooks lay eggs either early morning or around lunchtime: I know this routine isn’t ideal if you work a 9-5 job. If you have kids, maybe you can make it one of their chores so as to improve the frequency of egg-collecting in your household.
If you can identify the offender, remove her for a spell in solitary confinement. Put some golf balls in her nest and soon hopefully a sore beak will encourage her to break the habit. Try to wean her off the habit by giving her eggshells stuffed with chilli, mustard or soap. If that doesn’t do the trick, you may have to get rid of her altogether. It’s simply not worth the trouble!
You may also need to review whether your nesting boxes are dark enough? Some people suggest that egg eating is more likely to occur if there is too much light in nest boxes.
A piece of hessian pinned across the opening of each box can help reduce the light.