This summer I’ve been dealing with an issue I often get questions about from ChickenCoopGuides.com email subscribers: messy nests with chickens apparently eating their own eggs.
This can be incredibly frustrating not only because of the lost eggs but also because any additional eggs in the nest get coated with egg residue.
In my experience, the solution seems to be providing additional sources of calcium for the flock. An easy way to do that is to add a dish of oyster shells to the coop. Or, in our case, I have increased calcium available to my hens on a daily basis by keeping a pan of raw curdled milk from our Jersey cow available.
The tendency to lay fragile eggs is also more common among older hens. Since our flock includes several hens that are more than six years old, I also make sure all the nest boxes are constantly lined with a thick layer of hay.
This means that even if a hen lays a fragile egg when the next hen jumps into the nest the pressure from her feet is less likely to crush the egg in a well-padded nest.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fragile eggs or messy nests? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below.