AARGH! I think I have a problem...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheMadChickenLady, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. TheMadChickenLady

    TheMadChickenLady In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2010
    I introduced three new hens to my existing flock last night. Things went rather well as far as everyone getting along and establishing a new pecking order with minimal fighting... and THEN... *cue music of doom*

    I was sitting in the coop this morning waiting for one of my ladies to give me breakfast, (and making sure that everyone was still getting more or less getting along) when one of my original hens laid an egg. Immediately, two of the new birds rushed up, chased her out of her nest, and started pecking at the egg!


    I pushed them out of the way and managed to retrieve the egg before it was broken, but now I'm very concerned.
    I drove an hour and a half one way to get these birds, which were already priced a little more than I'd hoped to pay...
    Do the events of this morning mean I just bought egg-eaters (aka, really expensive chicken dinners)?
    Or do you think the birds came to me with a calcium deficiency and just need some more oyster shells?


  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If they are reacting that quickly, they are confirmed egg eaters. If you want these hens to get some hatching eggs, you might try roll away nests, but otherwise... Sorry.
  3. nelgkel

    nelgkel Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    I agree with Ridgerunner...I would invest in some roll away nest boxes. Maybe the new chickens did not get enough oyster shell? Hope this issue resolves for you, how frustrating!!
  4. calicokat

    calicokat Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    What a bummer! It sure would seem that since they "pounced" on it, they have been doing this a lot. *sigh* sure would have been nice for the folks to disclose this to you before you made the drive [​IMG]
  5. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    I would be suspicious of the person you got the eggs from.
    I have a egg shaped rock. If you can get 1 like I have you might be able to break them of the habit by tricking them.
  6. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Songster

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    How long did you wait before putting them in your coop?

    Some times if you put them straight in after getting home they just might be in protective mode.

    Is it possible they saw the hen your hen as a foreign chicken to where they are new seeing a nest being possessive could it possibly be like pecking order type thing?
    I would remove them from your chickens coop. Give them a place of their own from 1 wk to 30 days till they settle in and then introduce them during the middle of the night.
    No lights just prop them up on the perch....then in the morning after try again and see how they react.

    Thats just me though, try and see if you can find solutions before just giving up on them.

    Good luck
  7. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Well, now you know why the person was selling them. Dirty trick, selling egg eaters! [​IMG]

  8. TheMadChickenLady

    TheMadChickenLady In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2010
    Thanks everyone!

    What I've done so far:

    I removed the two problem birds for a day. The third hen I left in with my original girls, as she had laid an egg in the nest box after one of my hens had already laid, and never attempted to peck at either egg.

    I left them a feeder with oyster shells, in addition to mixing a few oyster shells in with their laying pellets for the day.

    I then decided that I should test the second "bad" bird, as she only ran up and pecked at the egg after the first had already started. I put her back in the coop with my hens and waited to see what would happen. I'm glad I gave her the benefit of the doubt, as I sat in the coop all morning and she didn't bother any eggs. I think she was just curious about what the misbehaving hen had found!

    And so, the remaining hen is in isolation. She laid an egg today which was slightly misshapen and had an extremely thin shell - she must be calcium deficient. I think she needs some more time by herself with an abundant supply of oyster shells before I completely give up on her, although I realize now that she has the egg-eating habit, chances of getting her to stop are slim to none.

    However... she has shown no interest at all in the oyster shells I have provided, and picked around the ones that were mixed with the laying pellets. Any suggestions to get her to want to eat them?
  9. AlaskGirl

    AlaskGirl Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    Can you cook up some oatmeal and mix the shell in with it? That's the first food that my hens go for, ignoring the rest til the cooked oats are gone...

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