Egg eating and cannibalism are rampant in nutritionally deficient birds, which are forced to peck on others or on these shelled produce for nourishment.
Mustard seed concoction is one of the most efficient ways of stopping chickens from eating eggs, a vice that causes losses to many farmers.
A farmer can prick a small hole into the egg and remove the yoke and other contents before carefully filling it with the mustard seed smashed content.
The mustard-filled egg shells will be placed where the chicken see and peck. Chicken do not like the taste of the smashed seed. They will start avoiding any egg they come across thinking it has the same content.
Other solutions to egg eating include providing enough calcium to the chicken for strong shells to avoid breakages, whose leakage stimulates the habit.
Sufficient proteins and other minerals would also discourage the chicken from the habit.
Building enough nests would discourage laying of the eggs in the open while culling hardened ‘culprits’ would gradually stop the vice.
Regular and timely collection of the eggs would prevent their eggs from being ‘play balls’ for the idle chicken.
At the same time, nests in dark places would keep the eggs away from the rest of the brood.
The University of Florida suggests adding pepper into a creamy liquid in shells and letting the chicken pick. They will not want to pick the hot cream again.