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Why would a hen peck her own eggs?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a hen that we rescued and she is laying off and on but she seems to have a problem with pecking her eggs.  what would be the reason for this?

What happens on the farm stays on the farm...........uh huh
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What happens on the farm stays on the farm...........uh huh
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post #2 of 10

Some hens, I've heard, will eat their own eggs.  This may be why she is pecking at them.  To stop this kind of behavior, give them something to distract them, like a special treat.

The only other reason she might be pecking at them is to see what they are.  I know my chickens will peck just about anything; it's like their way of checking out what things are. 

Hope that helps big_smile

My 6 Girls- GSL's: Lily and Buttercup SLW's: Snowflake and Mystery GLW's: Scamper and Goldilocks

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My 6 Girls- GSL's: Lily and Buttercup SLW's: Snowflake and Mystery GLW's: Scamper and Goldilocks

Remember, never give up on your dreams.
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post #3 of 10

She might be nutritionally deficient and instinct tells her that eggs are a good source of stuff.  Some animals just don't absorb nutrients like they should.  I have a goat that is in a constant state of deficiency, no matter what I do.  You may have a chicken like that.

My reason for that is because you say that she doesn't lay eggs consistently.  That may be a sign that she has trouble making eggs, either from lack of nutrients or something else.

I'd supplement her with healthy treats (that have a lot of vit B-A-E and protein) and see if that improves her demeanor.  If I have wierd eggs, I break them and give them back to my chickens.  They love the yolk.

Good luck. big_smile

"Poor God."  Blackthorne said.  "The stupidities He gets blamed for!
-Shogun, James Clavell

http://lnilstriaportfolio.yolasite.com/
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"Poor God."  Blackthorne said.  "The stupidities He gets blamed for!
-Shogun, James Clavell

http://lnilstriaportfolio.yolasite.com/
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post #4 of 10

Is this the one you are looking for ?

My flock consists of Araucanas, Crested Cream Legbars and Easter Eggers.  
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My flock consists of Araucanas, Crested Cream Legbars and Easter Eggers.  
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post #5 of 10

Maybe the reason you're not getting eggs regularly from her is because she gets some of them eaten before you find out. If that's the case, it won't take long for her to teach any others you have to eat eggs. Maybe the reason she was available to be "rescued"????

Jim

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

ya know I never thought about her having a bad habit.....sad  now what should I do?

What happens on the farm stays on the farm...........uh huh
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What happens on the farm stays on the farm...........uh huh
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post #7 of 10

Not sure if this is what's happened in your exact situation but if you've ever given your hens food scraps and there has been egg or egg shell in the scraps then once your hen gets the taste for eggs it's almost impossible to get them to stop eating their own eggs.

Egg shells can be a great source of calcium for the hens but if all of the egg is not washed completely off the shell, you'll find yourself with a egg-eating hen

post #8 of 10

I just had my hens go after an egg this morning.  They are about four months old and have just started laying.

I searched through Back Yard Chickens and found the  old timey remedy of hollowing out an egg and filling it with mustard.

This seems to be working as they have learned that eggs don't taste too good now.

I feed them a layer ration since they started to lay early but may also feed oyster shell .

post #9 of 10

Chickens don't usually peck eggs to the point of cracking them and eating them just out of the blue.  It is not unheard of, but it usually starts by getting a hold of a cracked, broken or shell-less egg first, or somebody unwittingly or ignorantly feeding them eggs in a recognizable form.

Once chickens taste eggs, they usually like them and will look at their eggs as a food source.  If the others see her eating them, they will likely start eating them also.  Nip it now before your whole flock is affected.  You will find various remedies on this site and on the web, including blowing out an egg and filling it with something unpleasant, but not harmful.  Don't know if any of them work, as I have never had the problem, thankfully.

If you don't fix it soon, you should cull her before you end up with a coop full of egg eaters.   That's probably why she was in a rescue in the first place.  Putting her there just puts the problem in somebody else's coop and prolongs the hen's unhappiness.

UGCM

I have it on the inside scoop that the chicken came first via priority mail and the egg arrived about 20 weeks later.  Mystery solved!

Hiding out in suburbia with 1 Red Star, 7 Black Stars, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 Buff Rock, 2 Black Australorps and 1 somewhat tolerant wife.
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I have it on the inside scoop that the chicken came first via priority mail and the egg arrived about 20 weeks later.  Mystery solved!

Hiding out in suburbia with 1 Red Star, 7 Black Stars, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 Buff Rock, 2 Black Australorps and 1 somewhat tolerant wife.
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just hate to kill her she is one of my favorite sweeties, thankfully right now she is the only one in her small hen house, other than the roo, the others are small yet and are in their own area, I don't think that they did feed her eggs shells simply because 1. she came to me very young, barely just started laying. 2. she came to me laying very very soft eggs, some so soft they barely held together by a membrane.3. they were very unknowledgeable able about chickens and I doubt that they  knew that they should even give her shells or calcium especially due to the condition of her eggs when I got her.  So I put one of the rock eggs in her nest, but she still seems to be doing it.....you might be right she might have to go. Maybe I will try to make the hot sauce eggs, does anybody think that maybe her house is too small and hot and that could be a reason?  We got her coop with her and are in the process of building a new one.....?  Ya know now that I am thinking about it maybe I need to rephrase my original question, shes not really eating them she is breaking them, the shell is there, just nothing else.  I have heard that people will cut their beaks to keep them from doing this is this a good way to treat this problem?  I am really leary about that .


Edited by blackfootfarm - 7/23/09 at 10:39am
What happens on the farm stays on the farm...........uh huh
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What happens on the farm stays on the farm...........uh huh
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