We have a chicken eating eggs and I think it is a rooster because after the hens lay one of my Roos goes in the besting boxes. Is this normal? Do you think it's a hen not a roo? Is there a way to stop it??
Good idea, Apyl! Someone in my coop has started doing this as well and they've gone as far as knocking the nest box off of it's spot to get the eggs out of the next. For some reason somebody is not liking the eggs left in the box for long. But, I will be making dinner out of 6 of them come saturday, so I'm not too worried about it.
Chickens only eat eggs that have been damaged in some way, so if shells are thinner than normal and they get damaged while the laying activity is going on, the birds will naturally clean up the mess. It's instinctive and not a problem or an issue that is long term, nor does it require killing a bird to get it to stop....just give it time and as shells thicken, the egg eating will stop.
You could make sure your nest boxes are big enough for proper laying, have enough bedding to cushion delivery, and gather eggs at least once a day to prevent egg build up in the nesting areas.
Been raising chickens off and on for 37 years and have never had an egg eater...I've had hundreds of egg eaters. Any chicken will eat a damaged egg if given the chance and all of them are opportunistic eaters. You won't get "egg eaters" if you feed your egg shells back to them raw, feed them broken eggs or any of the other myths that supposedly cause "egg eating" in a flock.
Every year, about twice a year, shells thin a little and are easily broken or at any given time you can have a particular chicken whose coming onto or off of a laying cycle and the shells won't be normal...this can result in broken or damaged eggs and the resulting instinctive cleaning of the nests.
Just wait awhile...shells will firm up and you won't have an "egg eater" culprit...until the next time an egg breaks or cracks in the nest.
I was reading your post and I'm having a big problem with my girls eating their eggs now. They are laying them in the yard and eating them. I've got a chicken laying soft eggs or thin brittle eggs. I've been adding oyster shell to their feed but it doesn't help any. She even drops it in the middle of the night on the floor of their coop. They are two years old. When do they stop laying?
Each bird is different and breeds are different in their laying life and patterns. You will see egg shell changes as the birds cycle from being "on" to being "off" and back again throughout the year.
Some say they stop laying at around 2 yrs and that is true of some production breeds..their laying drops a good bit after that point. But..there are exceptions to every rule and I have birds still laying well~not the best, mind you~ at 3 yrs and 6 yrs of age. If I were still into production to offset feed costs, I'd cull all birds that weren't laying every day or every other day in peak laying season...but I'm not that strict with it now, though more strict than most.
If you are just keeping yard birds and pets and don't care about production levels vs. feed and expenses, then it's up to the individual how long they want to keep a bird when it no longer lays at peak performance.