Chickens are the greatest producers of eggs, the healthy superfood people consume globally. But can chickens eat eggs?
Well, the answer is YES.
That might not sit right with you because even if eggs are highly nutritious and beneficial for everyone, the thought of chickens eating their own product might come with a risk.
And yes, it does.
But don’t worry.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- How can chickens eat eggs how should you serve them to your poultry birds
- How often can you feed eggs to chickens
- How your chooks can benefit from eggs
So if you’re curious about how egg consumption affects chickens and want to know more about your poultry birds’ diet, let’s get right into it!
So, Can Chickens Eat Eggs?
Have you ever seen chickens eating eggs? It might sound awful, right?
Many think it’s terrifying if chickens eat their eggs because it’s like they’re eating their chicks.
But chickens can eat eggs.
In fact, eggs are very healthy for your flocks.
Its nutrients are beneficial not only for humans but also for themselves.
But still, their feed should be balanced with complete nutrition from grains, seeds, and protein sources such as mealworms or fish.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Eggs?
If eggs are safe for matured chickens, it’s the same with your chicks.
It has the essential nutrients and minerals that chicks need to develop and grow a strong and healthy body.
Cooked eggs like scrambled are easy to serve your chicks because they are easy to pick. Besides, it is soft, so they will not choke.
Remember not to use any seasonings, like salt or pepper, or flavoring when cooking the eggs because it harms chickens.
Even if adult chickens can handle it, it’s best to go the safer way.
Don’t forget to separate the eggshells because they can cause choking to your little poultry birds.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Eggs?
Some chickens eat their own raw eggs.
While it is an easy way to get the nutrients that your flocks need, it’s not good for hens to eat their own eggs, fresh and raw.
Why Can’t Chickens Eat Raw Eggs?
Serving raw eggs is not recommended as it can spread diseases significantly when it is contaminated with bacteria like salmonella.
Besides, giving raw eggs to your chickens can lead to bad egg-eating habits.
If you start giving them uncooked eggs, they will surely find a way to eat even their own eggs.
Eventually, other flocks will also follow that bad habit.
If that happens, you may lose many eggs instead of hatching them, and that can have a huge impact on their egg production.
If you want to add eggs to your chicken feed, it’s better to use the eggs of other animals like ducks or birds or the ones you bought from the market.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Eggs?
In fact, cooking the eggs before feeding is the safest way to serve your feathered friends.
Why? In this way, you can prevent the spreading of diseases because bacteria will die during the heating process.
Besides, it prevents them from developing bad egg-eating habits because they’ll never know that they’re eating eggs after all.
But how should you cook the eggs to make sure they won’t recognize the eggs as their own?
You can prepare eggs for chooks in different ways.
Can Chickens Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Absolutely, yes, it’s OK. It is a healthy and safe way of feeding.
Besides, we all know how to scramble an egg. So it’s very easy to prepare.
Just simply whisk the eggs and cook them in a heated frying pan. All the nutrients are still intact even after cooking, so your chooks can surely benefit from it.
When you serve the scrambled eggs, you don’t need to slice them because it’s soft enough that even chicks can pick on them.
The best time to feed eggs to flocks is when they are molting, sick, or injured because the nutrients, especially the protein, help boost the birds’ recovery.
Can Chickens Eat Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Definitely, yes, you can.
Aside from scrambled, you can directly boil the eggs to cook them. It is still a nutritious and delicious treat for your feathered friend.
Make sure to boil the eggs within 8 minutes to boil them firmly.
Also, remember to remove the shells so your chickens won’t be tempted to eat raw ones.
When serving, it’s better to smash them and mix them with your chicken’s feed to make it easier for the birds to pick the eggs up.
It also helps to prevent them from associating the cooked eggs with the raw ones.
But are all parts of chickens edible, like the whites and the yolks?
You’ll learn more about that below.
Can Chickens Eat Egg Yolks?
Both the egg whites and egg yolks are edible for chickens.
Actually, these are where the nutrients and minerals are densely packed. However, egg yolks hold more nutrients compared to egg whites.
But is it really safe for them?
Of course, it is safe for your flocks. In fact, this part of the egg doesn’t only have many nutrients, but it also tastes delicious.
That’s why serving the whole egg to your chickens can be a great treat for them.
You can decide whether to boil or scramble them as long as it’s not raw or undercooked.
Can Chickens Eat Egg Shells?
Eggshells might look unedible. But actually, it contains calcium that is essential for chickens, especially when they start laying.
Why is it important?
Because calcium is a nutrient that helps chickens produce new strong eggshells.
It also helps support the circulatory, nervous, cardiac, and digestive systems of chickens.
However, the eggshell should not only be the primary source of calcium. You should also serve proper food with complete nutrients to support their laying.
Adding the eggshells directly to your chicken’s feed is not recommended.
It should be ground thoroughly so they won’t choke up, and they won’t recognize the shell and think that eating raw shell or egg is good.
So, make sure to ground and mix the shells well with their feed before serving.
How Often Can You Feed Eggs to Chickens?
Eggs are a great source of protein, but it’s important to know how often to feed them to your chooks.
Generally, feeding chickens eggs once every one or two weeks is safe, whether scrambled or boiled and smashed.
It’s also important to provide a balanced diet for your chickens, including a mix of grains, vegetables, and protein sources.
By serving your chickens a healthy diet and feeding them eggs in moderation, you can help ensure they remain healthy and happy.
But aside from having an extra calcium source, how can chickens benefit from their own produce?
In the next section, we’ll talk about how eggs can benefit your poultry birds.
Benefits of Feeding Eggs to Chickens
Feeding eggs to chickens can provide them with extra protein and nutrients, which can help keep them healthy and productive.
A balanced diet with occasional egg treats can surely make your chickens happy and healthy.
And we mean it when we say healthy because that’s what the table shows below.
Notice how much nutrients your chickens can get in just 100 grams of eggs.
Amount per 100g
12.6 – 13g
Eggs are also a great source of vitamins A, D, E, and B12, which are essential in reducing the risk of chronic and transmittable diseases.
What are the Health Benefits of Eggs to Chickens?
Here are the health benefits of feeding or adding eggs to your chicken’s diet.
Protein is one of the essential elements that helps boost egg production.
It supports overall growth, boosts immunity and environment adaptation, and helps keep the functions of chicken’s body organ.
So, adding eggs to your chickens can be a big help to provide them enough protein.
Another important thing you need to provide in raising chickens is water.
It primarily helps your feathered friends keep hydrated.
Water is also essential in regulating chickens’ body temperature, especially during the hot season.
It also helps improve digestion and eliminate waste in the body.
Using the eggs to give your chickens water primarily is not recommended but feeding them eggs can also help to keep them hydrated.
But never feed them raw egg whites that seem similar to water because it does more bad than good.
Besides, it’s not enough to support your chicken’s needs, so you still need to provide clean water.
It is the primary source of energy for all living things and an essential fuel for cells.
Most poultry feed contains much carbohydrate, which is crucial for their growth.
Chicken feeds that contain carbohydrates are cereal grains, like corn, wheat, sorghum, rye, millet, etc.
Though eggs have carbohydrates, it’s not enough to give chickens energy.
Besides, it’s not good to overfeed them with eggs to get more carbohydrates. You still need to provide feed with more carbs.
Calcium is a vital mineral that has numerous benefits for chickens. It helps in the formation of strong bones and healthy eggshells.
Chicken eggshells consist of 95% calcium carbonate, so they must have a steady supply of calcium in their diet.
Calcium deficiency may cause weak bones and soft-shelled eggs, which can cause numerous health issues for chickens.
However, giving them eggs is not enough.
Therefore, ensuring chickens have access to a calcium-rich diet to maintain their health and productivity is essential.
Vitamin A, D, E, and B12
Vitamins A, D, E, and B12 are essential vitamins that offer numerous benefits for chicken’s overall health.
Vitamin A helps with vision, immune system function, and skin health.
Vitamin D is essential for bone health and helps the body absorb calcium.
On the other hand, vitamin E, which is an antioxidant, protects cells from damage and supports immune system function.
As for Vitamin B12, it’s necessary for the smooth operation of the birds’ nervous system and for the production of red blood cells.
Deficiency in this vitamin can cause a weak nervous system, curled toes, and weak joints like knees.
This nutrient is essential for chickens and helps regulate fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle health.
It also aids in maintaining a healthy heart and supports proper kidney function.
Potassium is found in various foods, including fruits, vegetables, and grains, and is easily absorbed by chickens.
Though eggs have potassium content, it’s insufficient to support your feathered friends’ needs.
So, providing a balanced diet with potassium-rich foods is important to keep your chickens healthy and happy.
Selenium is an important nutrient that plays a crucial role in chickens’ health and overall growth.
It helps develop strong bones and muscles, supports a healthy immune system, and promotes overall growth and vitality.
Selenium is also an antioxidant that helps chickens protect their cells from damage because of free radicals.
That’s why you must ensure that your chickens have enough selenium intake through their diet or supplements, which can help keep them healthy and thriving.
Can Chickens Eat Eggs: The Final Recap
Yes, chickens can eat eggs.
But only if it’s well-cooked because feeding them with raw eggs can cause them to develop an egg-eating habit and make them susceptible to bacterial infections.
You can serve them either scrambled or boiled, but make sure to mash them if you prefer the boiling ones.
It’s also worth noting that egg shells should be removed when serving boiled eggs to prevent the hens from thinking that it’s okay to eat their own eggs, raw and fresh.
You also need to avoid using seasonings and limit their egg consumption.
Ensure that your flock would still eat various grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are important for their overall health and egg production.