Long Story: My husband is tired of hens. This is our third flock since starting three years ago. Our original five RIR hens started eating their eggs in the winter and he culled them all (they were all eating eggs). We were new at it and he had heard then that you cannot rehab an egg-eater.
Our second group of hens last year were barred rocks, all but two have been hit by a car or eaten by a random hawk last spring. Never ate their eggs.
We now have our two barred rock hens from last year along with five young hens from this spring - two red sex link, two black sex link, and one leghorn.
The barred rocks have been laying an egg a day each for as long as I can remember. When it came time for the others to start laying, I started cooping up all the hens. This had worked for us before as a way to ensure that young hens would lay in their boxes initially, rather than elsewhere.
Short Story: Unfortunately the hens probably got bored. We only got one small egg from a young hen, and then one white egg (from the leghorn?)...We stopped getting eggs from our two year-old barred rocks. We get only one, white egg per day, which has a very hard shell so I am assuming that they TRY to eat it but can't.
I am assuming everyone else is laying, and I have no idea how many hens (7 total hens) are eating eggs.
We have tried golf balls, trying to see egg on beaks, trying to catch them in the act, putting mustard in an egg, etc. None of this worked.
We do not want to cull a bird because we have no idea who it is. We being me, as my husband would love to cull them all and be done with laying hens.
I am thinking of trying Opa's rollaway boxes. My husband could make them. We have only two nesting boxes, but I would make one level of three just in case we have more hens in the future.
Has everyone had success with these? We do not have a lot of time on our hands to be outside with the hens checking on things (husband works and we have a baby and toddler). He would build the boxes if he knew they would solve the problem, permanently.
Our coop is a large shed and we would have the attach the boxes to an inside wall.
Thank you! I really want to keep our hens, but I don't know what the best way to rehab them is.
Edited by ahoward - 12/10/15 at 5:29pm