We are almost sure you would never believe that chickens can eat eggs. It makes sense to not believe it. Chickens lay eggs, and sometimes these eggs grow to become little chickens. So for them to turn around and eat their own eggs is a bit ironic, right?
Now, the question is, are eggs good for chickens?
Eggs are good for chickens, and they can eat all parts of an egg, raw or cooked. Egg treats are great sources of protein and calcium for chickens. Besides these two, eggs also contain other nutrients essential for the survival of chickens.
So far, we’ve confirmed that chickens can eat eggs, but there’s more to discuss. So, in the next few paragraphs, we will focus on the types of eggs they eat, what they get from eating eggs, and much more.
Are Eggs Good for Chickens
Eggs are good for chickens. We eat eggs for the nutrients they contain, and chickens do the same. So, what nutrients are contained in eggs, and how are they of benefit to chickens?
According to the USDA, 100 grams of an egg contains the following:
- 13 grams of protein
- 124 mg of sodium
- 126 mg of potassium
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
Eggs contain about 13% protein, which is about the same protein content in an ideal layers feed. With such high protein content, it is no surprise chickens will resort to eating eggs when they are not getting enough protein.
So, what does protein do for chickens? Well, protein causes chickens to grow. With enough protein, your chickens will grow very well. Protein facilitates the growth of feathers, nails, muscles, and basically every part of the body.
Potassium is quite beneficial for chickens when there’s heat stress, while Iron is essential for blood formation.
Magnesium has multiple benefits in chickens. For one, it helps with bone and egg formation. Magnesium also helps the chickens utilize other nutrients effectively, it helps with their nervous functions, and much more.
Without calcium, your chickens will have weak bones, and their muscles may not function as they should. A lack of calcium may also make the shells of the eggs they lay weak.
Eggshells are a great source of calcium. Your chickens may be pecking on them because they are not getting enough calcium in their diet. Besides the eggshell, the other parts of an egg also contain some calcium.
Vitamin A will help the chickens grow healthy feathers and skin. It will also help with their vision. Vitamin D works in tandem with calcium and phosphorus for bone formation.
Vitamin B6 will do a lot for the nervous functions of your chickens, while vitamin B12 is an essential cofactor. It plays a vital role in the formation of certain other substances in the body.
In fewer words, when chickens eat eggs, they get a whole lot of nutrients that can make them healthy.
Can Chickens Eat Scrambled Eggs
Chickens can eat scrambled eggs. In fact, scrambled eggs is one of the healthiest treats you can feed your chickens. In situations where your chickens lay excess eggs, you can use some of them into making delicious scrambled eggs treat.
The high protein content and the high calcium content are great for the overall growth of your chickens. When your chickens are molting, feeding them with scrambled eggs can help with the process.
Also, when chickens are sick or injured, feeding them with scrambled eggs can do a lot of good. Scrambled eggs can give them the protein boost they need to recover and heal quickly.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Eggs
Chickens can eat raw eggs. But you should never feed them raw eggs, or you may end up losing a lot.
Feeding chickens with raw eggs will make them develop a taste for them. Now, this means they’ll start eating their own eggs. If they start eating their own eggs, you will not get as many eggs as you used to from them.
So, as much as possible, ensure that when you feed eggs to chickens, they are well-cooked. Cook the eggs so there is no raw egg taste, even a little taste may prompt them to start eating the raw ones.
Can Chickens Eat the Eggshell
Chickens can eat the eggshell too. But you must be cautious if you want to do this. Do not leave the eggshells unbroken.
If they develop this taste, they will start pecking at the eggs they lay. The consequence of this is that they’ll damage their own eggs and reduce productivity. If this happens, you lose.
To prevent this, bake the eggshells and grind them before you feed the chickens. You can feed them just ground eggshells.
Alternatively, you can mix the eggshells with other treats like grit or even scrambled eggs.
Eggshells have very high calcium concentration (calcium makes up about 90 – 95 % of an eggshell). So, giving young hens regular eggshell treats can be very useful as they transition to being layers.
Can Chickens Eat Boiled Eggs
Your chickens will love boiled eggs too. Like every other form of egg you feed them, boiled eggs are very nutritious. When feeding them boiled eggs, ensure you remove the shells.
As long as there are no shells in the boiled egg treat, the chickens will not be prompted to eat raw eggs. You can serve the boiled eggs whole, but mashing them up is preferable.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Egg?
Eggs are one of few high protein treats that can be fed to baby chicks. In this case, scrambled eggs seem to be picked up by them the easiest. Egg can be an excellent and nutritious treat to give your young chicks at any age.
Keep in mind, though, that the eggs should not be seasoned or have eggshell added to them. If you have added things like salt and pepper, it’s best to save those eggs for your adult birds.
Just plain scrambled eggs make a perfect treat for baby chicks.
How to Stop Chickens From Feeding on Eggs
So, somehow your chickens have grown a taste for raw eggs. You are losing eggs to this habit, and you don’t know what to do.
The following are a few tips that can help stop your chickens from feeding on eggs:
- Feed them enough calcium and protein.
- Collect the eggs often, so you reduce their chances of eating the eggs.
- Make the nesting boxes slanted, so the eggs roll away as they are laid.
- Place hard items that look like eggs in their nest to discourage them from pecking. For instance, you can place a golf ball in the nest. When they peck at the golf ball, they won’t get the usual sweet stuff they get. So, they are discouraged.
- You may also keep the nest box dark, so they won’t see the eggs. If they do not see the eggs, chances are they won’t eat them.
Although raw and cooked eggs are great treats for chickens, avoid giving them raw treats. By giving them raw eggs, you will encourage them to eat the eggs they lay. Eating the eggs they lay will affect the number of eggs you get from them.