I have learned a lot of things about chickens, like that they can get avian pox. But one thing that surprised me was that chickens like to eat eggs. Chickens can eat eggs cooked or raw. It's not uncommon for them to peck at the eggs left in their nesting boxes. I would have thought it's some cannibalistic thing and they would avoid eating eggs, but I was wrong.
So we started keeping an eye out after learning eating their own eggs was a risk. But we had gone several months without an issue so it sort of fell to the back burner. One of the major suggestions that I read was to clean spills quickly so the chickens didn't get a taste for eggs and start viewing eggs as food. So the few times we'd have a couple of cracked eggs, we would wash up the buckets and make sure that the chickens didn't get too interested.
We generally put broken eggs and discarded egg shells in our compost pile. The hope is that it will make our compost more nutritious, but since it is open there is a risk that the chickens could wander over and find an eggshell. So we try to break up egg shells before putting them in the compost pile.
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We thought we were doing the right things, but none of that seemed to matter as last week we lost 2-3 eggs to the chickens.
So what did we do to combat it? We bought ceramic eggs and placed them at the front of their nesting boxes. The way the boxes are set up they can only stick their heads in a little bit. The eggs help as it will teach them that eggs in the bucket are hard and not for pecking. It has the added bonus of they will lay in front of these eggs, so they can't physically reach the real eggs from outside of the bucket.
|Nesting Boxes With Ceramic Eggs|
What have you done to prevent your chickens from eating their eggs?
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Shared on Homesteader Hop, Waste Less Wednesday