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How to stop your pet chickens eating their eggs

Chickens eating their own eggs can be incredibly frustrating, it might mean that you have none left for your own breakfast! Even worse, it also makes a huge sticky mess in the coop which is hard to clean up. If you’re thinking about becoming a Chicken Hotel Manager or boarding your hens, this isn’t ideal for your host.

We know that chicken eggs are a tasty treat, but a chicken doesn’t… until it accidentally breaks one and finds a delicious snack inside. Once they get a taste for eggs and realise that they can break them, then they won’t forget this in a hurry! So training them not to eat their eggs can be quite a challenge.

Anti egg-eating strategies

We know you want to enjoy your eggs, so here are some ideas to try:

Egg removal

Try to get into the coop extra early to collect the eggs as soon as you can. If you can break the cycle then your pet chickens will eventually forget that tasty treat lies inside. But, should you be late for just one day, you’re starting from scratch!

Decoy eggs

Once you’ve removed the eggs in the morning you could then add some decoys to the nest box. You can buy rubber eggs, egg-shaped rocks or some people even use golf balls. The chickens will try to peck these to break them but they won’t find their eggy reward so this can help break the habit. Once again, this is reliant on you getting in there early to collect eggs. Even if you are a bit late, you still stand a chance that the first egg the chicken tries is one of your decoys. If you would like to buy a decoy egg then try Flyte-so-fancy.

Spice it up! 

Take an egg, make a hole and add some unpleasant flavours to it! Have a look in your condiments cupboard to see what might work… If your chicken tastes it then it might rethink whether it’s worth cracking into eggs. 

More space for your hens

The reason why your pet chickens got into egg eating might be that there wasn’t enough space in your coop for the number of chickens you have. They may have stumbled on an egg and accidentally broken it. See our ‘Choosing a coop’ blog for a size guide, but the bigger the better.

Chicken nutrition

Your chickens might be eating eggs because they are calcium deficient. Try putting some crushed oyster shell based grit in a small feeder. Your chickens won’t over eat this and will appreciate it if they need the nutrition. You can also bake your old egg shells in the bottom of a cooling oven (after you’ve made dinner) and add this back into their feed. Just make sure that they are crushed up small enough to be unrecognisable from egg shells or they’ll reestablish that eggy connection.

Chicken coop furnishings

Use a roll-away tray in the nest box. You can purchase a plastic tray that the hen will lay on, and the slope means that it “rolls away” and then underneath the tray itself. This then prevents the hens from being able to break them. If you are looking to buy a roll-away tray, they aren’t that expensive, try Viovet where they have one for a little over £5.

Let us know how you get on with these anti-egg eating strategies!

Try some, or all of these suggestions and see what works for your chickens. They may just stop by themselves of course. We gathered these ideas from our own experience and research, but also from people sharing their ideas on social media. If you have any of your own suggestions or home remedies that have worked for you, then why not leave a suggestion on our Facebook page or Instagram! We’d love to hear your ideas.

If you’d like to learn more chicken care tips and tricks, why not explore:

Betsy's guide for transporting your pet chickens to a chicken hotel

Training your pet chicken to recognise its name

Betsy’s guide to managing broody hens

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David1st January, 1970

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