Introduction: Understanding Egg Eating in Chickens
Egg eating is a common problem among chickens, and it occurs when chickens start pecking at their own eggs and consuming them. This behaviour is not only frustrating for poultry farmers, but it can also lead to a host of other problems such as a decrease in egg production, poor egg quality and even cannibalism.
To address egg eating in chickens, it’s important to understand the different factors that contribute to this behaviour. This article will explore some of the common causes of egg eating and how farmers can prevent and manage this problem.
Lack of Calcium in the Diet: A Common Cause of Egg Eating
One of the main reasons chickens start eating their own eggs is due to a lack of calcium in their diet. Calcium is a vital nutrient for chickens, as it is essential for the formation of eggshells. When chickens don’t get enough calcium, their eggshells become thin and weak, making them more likely to break. This can lead to chickens starting to peck at their own eggs.
To prevent this problem, poultry farmers should ensure that their chickens are being fed a diet that is rich in calcium. This can be achieved by providing chickens with calcium supplements, such as oyster shells, or by adding calcium-rich foods to their diet, such as leafy greens, eggshells or bone meal. By ensuring that their chickens are getting enough calcium, farmers can help to prevent egg eating behaviour.