Most animals have an instinctive attachment to their babies. It’s only natural, right?
But what about eggs, particularly unfertilized eggs. I mean, chickens lay eggs almost every day and they seem happy enough to simply leave them in the nesting box and go out and enjoy life as they should!
So does this mean chickens are OK with you taking their eggs? Do they really even notice?
Here we deep dive on whether chickens get sad when you take their eggs, whether you should take your chicken’s eggs when they aren’t looking, and if a chicken being broody changes anything!
Do Chickens Get Sad When You Take Their Eggs?
It’s been established that chickens really do have feelings, being capable of friendship within the flock and affection towards their owners. Chickens can even experience grief over a loss in the flock.
But do chickens really care when you take their eggs? Well, that all comes down to whether or not your hens are laying regularly or have gone broody!
You see, normally your hen will keep to a cycle of laying every 25 hours, it’s in its instinct to produce and lay eggs. Your hens simply pop one out and get back to their own business in the backyard. During this time your chickens do not care when you take their eggs, and quite frankly, I don’t think they even notice it.
But, if you’ve got yourself a broody hen, meaning your chicken’s hormones or instincts shift to make your hen want to stop laying and start hatching the eggs, then it’s a different story.
So, if your hen is broody, they will definitely care that you are taking their eggs. But I still don’t think I would say they get sad when you take their eggs.
Should I Take My Chickens’ Eggs When They Aren’t Looking?
A lot of new chicken owners can get apprehensive about the daily egg gathering habit. Of course, we all get excited to do the daily egg run, but sometimes you can’t help think your chickens are on to you.
For this reason, some make a conscious effort to only retrieve the eggs when the hens are done laying, and out of the coop. Like when you let your chickens in the morning after they’ve been shut in at night.
But, this isn’t entirely necessary, as unless your hens are broody, they won’t really care that you’re taking their eggs. This is evidenced by their own behavior, as you can see that as soon as they are done laying they are out of there and back to their foraging and exploring of the yard.
If you’ve got a broody hen sitting on the eggs then you better bring protection. Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to let them sit on their eggs, and take them on the short breaks they take when they go eat or drink.
To Sum Up
We always try to balance our need for good quality nourishment with being rational consumers.
Luckily, when it comes to collecting your daily eggs, you don’t need to feel guilty, anxious, or anything except joy. This is because in the normal routine of a laying hen, then simply don’t care at all that you are collecting their eggs.
If you want to play it on the safe side then you’re welcome to collect the eggs only when you are in direct sight of your chooks. But it’s simply not necessary.
If you have a broody hen on your hands, however, best evacuate and wait for your chance to grab the eggs when she’s not sitting on them!