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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.
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Publications

Publication Number: IS0331
Publication Number: P1276
Publication Number: P2383

News

A man wearing a baseball caps squats down inside a poultry house, holding a black camera. Feeders line the floor in rows, small, yellow chicks feed nearby, and the house stretches behind him in the distance.
Filed Under: Livestock, Poultry January 11, 2019

In a state where temperatures exceed 90 degrees more than 100 days a year, heat control in poultry houses is a very important consideration for Mississippi's biggest agricultural industry.

A close-up of a commercial chicken with white feathers is shown in the right three-quarters of the foreground with other chickens blurred in the background.
Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry December 18, 2018

Poultry producers got off to a robust start in 2018, which helped the industry end the year strong.

A woman holds a brown and white chicken while a young girl looks on.
Filed Under: Poultry June 1, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than a million backyard chicken flocks provide Americans with eggs, meat or companionship, a trend Mississippians embrace, but hobby farmers must learn proper care to keep them healthy.

A close up of white eggs stacked in a bowl with other white eggs.
Filed Under: Poultry April 13, 2018

RAYMOND, Miss. -- With low feed prices and healthy demand for broilers and eggs, the Mississippi poultry industry is poised for another productive year.

An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.
Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry March 30, 2018

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Farmweek, Entire Show, August 28, 2015
Farmweek

Season 39 Show #08

Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 7:00pm

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