Causes for hens eating their eggs
The causes that incite hens to eat their eggs usually result because of poor husbandry or management practices. Chickens do not naturally eat their eggs. Once the management of the flock is restored to an acceptable state, the egg eating will stop. The list of major causes and corrections are listed below.
- If shells of the eggs are thin and weak, provide proper diets as discussed in the nutrition section to correct the problem.
- Not enough nest space is provided. Provide at least one standard nest for each four hens.
- Keep plenty of soft nesting material in the nest so eggs will have a cushion on which to lay.
- Collect the eggs more regularly, at least 2 or 3 times daily. The longer the eggs remain in the nest, the greater chance of breakage and consumption.
- Provide plenty of clean, fresh drinking water. Hens need greater amounts of water than other birds and may consume their eggs for the liquid content.
- Cull non-laying hens from the flock. Refer to Culling Hens for assistance with this process.
- Maintain a disease-free flock that is treated regularly for internal and external parasites.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will accept applications for assistance from agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.Sign-up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 -- CFAP 2 -- begins Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 11, 2020. The program is open to producers of row crops, livestock, aquaculture, dairy and specialty crop commodities.
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