Q: My hens are eating their eggs. What can I do to stop them?
A: First things first: collect your eggs regularly. The faster you are, the fewer opportunities your "girls" will have to be naughty and eat those eggs! Next, do be sure you are feeding your girls properly. Diets low in protein can encourage egg eating simply because the hens are trying to get the nutrition they need. Make sure you are not feeding too much scratch or corn, and that they are not eating too many other low protein treats, either.
You just don't want to see something like this when you go to gather eggs:
If you have taken care of those two things and you're still having problems with egg-eating, you might try discouraging egg-eating by replacing eggs in the nest with golf balls, wooden eggs (which we sell). Some people use eggs filled with mustard or something equally unsavory, although we've heard this isn't a cure-all, either. Try darkening their nests so they will be less inclined to eat while inside.
It can be very difficult to break the habit of egg eating once it has begun. If you tried everything else, the best solution we know of is to install a roll-away nest box: the egg will roll to a collection area a safe distance from your hen's beak as soon as it's laid!