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.
Poultry is big business in Mississippi, and poultry producers are having to manage disease and high feed costs to produce the meat and eggs that Americans consume in great quantities. Poultry is the most consumed meat in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, followed by beef and then pork. Eggs are also popular, with Americans eating close to 250 eggs per person each year.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi Board of Animal Health reported Feb. 23 that a backyard poultry flock in Copiah County tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, often referred to as HPAI or H5N1.
This is the second backyard flock to test positive for HPAI. The first confirmation was in Lowndes County in November 2022. There have also been two detections in commercial broiler flocks, one in Lawrence County in November 2022 and the other in Leake County in February. All affected facilities were quarantined, and the birds were depopulated to prevent spreading.
Shoppers facing sticker shock at the grocery store know that eggs are part of the cost increase, but they may not know why.
Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said egg prices over the Christmas holiday were more than double what they were at the same time in 2021.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry was already Mississippi’s top agricultural commodity before its overall value increased even more in 2022.
The estimated value of production for the state’s poultry in 2022 was $3.8 billion. This 48% increase over 2021’s record production value of $2.6 billion will rewrite the record books if these totals hold when the final numbers are released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture next April.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi Board of Animal Health is asking backyard bird owners to be vigilant in their biosecurity procedures after a commercial breeder chicken flock in Lawrence County tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI.