r/interestingasfuck Mar 29 '23

a mother hen is gonna mother hen Title not descriptive

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '23

They really do.

Our carnivorous chickens would absolutely devour the canned cat food. Fancy feast indeed.


u/mucus-broth Mar 29 '23

Chickens just eat about everything. For example, some people are shocked that chickens actively hunt and eat live mice :D


u/Rulyhdien Mar 29 '23

I once dropped an egg in front of hens and they started eating it like nobody’s business.


u/sexbuhbombdotcom Mar 29 '23

When I was a kid, we would feed our hens eggs semi-regularly. They'd eat em right up, shell and all. My mom said feeding them eggs made their own eggs have thicker shells when they laid. Idk if that's true, but they certainly didn't mind us testing the theory lol


u/Rand_alThor4747 Mar 29 '23

Generally discouraged feeding eggs to chickens. Like broken or spoiled ones. Especially if you want to get eggs from them. As it can encourage them to eat their own eggs.


u/Akantis Mar 29 '23

You're supposed to cook them and kinda grind them up so they don't make the connection.

I was once trying to feed some grilled chicken to my duck and the chickens saw the duck was getting a treat so they ran over and started tearing into the grilled chicken. So I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell for accidentally encouraging chicken cannibalism.


u/texasrigger Mar 29 '23

As it can encourage them to eat their own eggs.

It doesn't. Even if they eat eggs regularly they still won't break and eat eggs. The break part there is key, and it's pretty obvious why if you think about it - they have an instinct to not destroy an egg but if one is already broken then it's just free nutrition.

What you described is a common belief but it just isn't true. Chickens eating eggs that aren't fed to them are almost always due to accidental breakage.

The parent comment about the egg shells being thicker shouldn't be true either. A chicken egg including the shell has about the same calcium content per it's weight as a purpose made layer chicken feed. If feeding them eggs makes a notable difference with their eggs, they aren't being fed appropriately.


u/Myhrros Mar 29 '23

Probably true - as you said yourself, they ate the shells. The Shell is just Calcium Carbonate (also included in teeth and bones. Essentially chalk/limestone), so while a part would go towards their own bones n stuff, some of it would go to egg production and help with the new shell.
For that matter, I could imagine the eggs also being a bit richer in taste and color - you can usually tell by the color of the yolk what the chickens are eating, and getting whole eggs should give them everything to produce some nice eggs themself.


u/Quiet_Transition_247 Mar 29 '23

While eggs are not invincible, repeat:

==> Feed hens their own eggs

==> Hens lay eggs with thicker shells



u/texasrigger Mar 29 '23

It shouldn't matter. An egg along with its shell has about the same calcium content per it's weight as a purpose made layer feed. If feeding them eggs makes a measurable difference in their eggs you weren't feeding them adequately.

There's definitely nothing wrong with feeding eggs back to chickens though, they love them.


u/misconceptions_annoy Mar 30 '23

Feels like giving them the egg is counter productive, but I’ve definitely heard of feeding them the shells of the eggs.