Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ask Bee - Help! Egg-Eating Chickens!



Dear Bee –
I’ve heard that feeding eggs to chickens will make my chickens into egg-eaters. Is this true??


Bee’s Answer:

This is a common myth that is perpetuated here, there and everywhere.... that feeding eggs to the chickens will make them into egg eaters.  This just happens to be one of my worst pet peeves... puts my teeth on edge.

If I've said it once, I've probably said it a hundred times, all chickens are egg-eaters.  They are opportunistic eaters and will hoover up an egg quick as anything else when presented with a soft shelled, cracked, or damaged eggs.  Certain times of the year this happens in most any flock. 

God designed these chickens to keep their nests clean.  This keeps predators from scenting their nests and it also keeps bacteria from the eventually rotten yolk/egg from harming the bloom of the other eggs in the nest.  Birds in the wild do the same thing and will clean up any broken eggs, much like a chicken.  


Generations of women in my family have been feeding eggs and egg shells back to chickens and never once had an "egg-eater."  You will hear the same thing from other experienced flock keepers.  The thing that makes people think that their "fake eggs" and other such deterrents left in nests have "cured" their egg-eater is because, along about the time they have placed these things and notice the results, is about the same time that the hen's reproductive hiccups have corrected themselves ~ as per usual, if you wait a bit ~ and any anecdotal "curing" of the egg-eater is purely coincidental.  No soft shells or broken eggs means no chickens with yolk on their faces.  Opportunity now over. 

A person who perpetuates the egg-eating myth is obviously someone who hasn't spent years with chickens and believes everything she hears from others of the same ilk.  These myths keep making the rounds as each new group of new chicken owners enters the field… and I hope to be a voice of reason in all that muck. 

You are completely safe feeding eggs raw, shells uncooked, shells uncrushed or not ground fine.... it's all the same to the chicken.  The scraps are fine as well... pretty much anything we can eat, the chickens will and can eat.  They don't usually eat potato skins or onions, though. 

Bee -

8 comments:

  1. I like when advice makes sense, and gets to the point without making me feel stupid for believing the wrong info in the first place.

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  2. Excellent information. Thanks so much, love the pics too.

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  3. I have got to say, this blog is priceless! So much great info! And I feel like I'm hearing it not from a wannabe "expert" on some big publisher's site but from a real, honest to goodness person that knows what they're talking about!

    Galanie

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  4. Thanks Bee, I have people giving me that same line all the time, I just tell them they should check out this blog and learn the Bee Truths!

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  5. A few years ago I would have concurred. However, I've been keeping large flocks for three years now and have witnessed the chickens develop an egg eating behaviour.

    Just because you have not experienced it, doesn't mean it's a myth unless you can prove otherwise. Which you can't.

    So yes, feeding raw eggs to chickens does need to be monitored.

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