Can chickens eat eggs? (Five reasons)

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can chickens eat eggs?” and the proper laying hens’ diet.

Can chickens eat eggs?

Yes, chickens can eat eggs. The act of chickens eating their eggs fall under the classification of a  specific type of cannibalism. Generally, this behaviour is attributed to heightened stress levels.

Numerous elements impact the likelihood of cannibalism, encompassing factors like the shape of their beaks, their feeding setup, the presence of appealing foraging materials, opportunities for learning, the availability of preferred targets, utilization of perches and nesting areas, and the size of their social groups (1 and 2).

What is the proper diet to feed laying hens?

The nutritional information provided holds significant importance in addressing two critical concerns within laying hen management: cannibalism and mortality. By formulating and providing the proper diet, we can positively impact both issues (3).

Laying hens have the remarkable ability to adjust their feed intake based on energy needs. However, achieving the right balance of essential amino acids, especially through protein sources like cereal grains, is vital for their overall health (3).

A crucial factor is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which directly affects bone health, egg production, and the overall well-being of the hens. Proper supplementation of vitamin D3, and regulating calcium and phosphorus utilization, further enhance these benefits (3).

What is the factor used in hen nutrition to reduce cannibalism?

Key to reducing cannibalism, a behaviour with negative consequences, is the supplementation of tryptophan and insoluble fibre. These additions have been shown to decrease stress levels and significantly curb cannibalistic tendencies (3).

By incorporating this information into layer diets, we can create an environment that fosters better hen welfare, leading to reduced aggression and better social interactions among the hens. Moreover, specific amino acids, such as lysine and methionine, have demonstrated the ability to modify behaviour.

When included in the diet, these amino acids can counteract the adverse effects of factors like high stocking density, which often contribute to increased mortality rates and aggressive behaviours (3).

Elevating the concentrations of these amino acids in the diet can play a role in minimizing these negative outcomes.

What can happen if chickens consume raw eggs or eggshells?

Chickens that are exposed to raw eggs might gradually acquire a preference for them. This preference can lead to a concerning behaviour where the hens start consuming their eggs. Once this habit sets in, a decline in egg production becomes evident, impacting the number of eggs you receive (1 and 3).

Are there additional possibilities for utilizing eggshells? The substantial volume of eggshell waste generated by industrial chicken egg production is commonly disregarded or minimally utilized in agriculture. Despite containing valuable minerals and amino acids, eggshells are generally not attributed significant economic value. However, their potential for diverse applications should not be overlooked (4).

Eggshells stand out for their mineral-rich composition, making them adaptable for various roles. They can serve as pharmaceutical excipients, providing the foundation for developing medicinal and dental preparations (4).

Furthermore, they function as additives in the food industry, calcium supplements, diluents for solid medications, and can even play a role in agricultural fertilizers (4).

Notably, eggshells possess the potential to be incorporated into bone implants, showcasing their versatility within the medical realm (4).

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

Can chickens have milk?

Can chickens lay more than one egg a day?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question ‘Can chickens eat eggs?’ Yes, chickens are capable of consuming eggs. Introducing supplementary elements like tryptophan and insoluble fibre has been proven effective in reducing stress and minimizing cannibalistic behaviours.