There are so many threads on egg eating, I hope no one minds my posting this question here.
I sold my entire floc
k of hens last fall and just wintered some silkie chicks, some assorted bantams from Ideal and three black copper marans, a rooster and two hens.
I just bought 31 pullets that has not started laying yet two weeks ago. I started getting eggs last week...one one day, three one day, five one day, then none,...you know the routine.
All was well till two days ago. .. of the five eggs in the nest boxes, three had been pecked hard enough to spiderweb fracture the shell just a little, not enough to break the shell or for the girls to eat the eggs, but just enough that they are unusable.
I saw one little pullet rolling the egg around after she hatched it, and thought perhaps she rolled it against the nest box wall, but I have been checking every hour today and just came in with an egg that was less then an hour old and it had been poked hard enough to fracture the shell in a faint spiderweb.
I have two golf balls in each nest box. There are 10 nest boxes in the coop. The girls free range...the pop door goes into a covered chicken yard and the chicken yard door is open so they can free range on our 50 acres...
I am thinking of separating out maybe five girls at a time (I have a coop set up in a stall in our barn) until I weed out the egg breaker...or would I be ahead to 86 the whole crew?
I feed a hen scratch from the local feed store which is only 10 percent protein, it is cracked corn, wheat and milo..
I have oyster shell free choice in the coop
Should I add a layer pellet to see if that helps? I usually feed layer pellets when they start laying well, but pullet eggs are so small I thought the hen scratch might be all right.
They have five gallon buckets with 8 nipples on the bottom so there is plenty of water.
Should I debeak?
Thanks so much