Ahh cruel genetics, why hast thou screwed up my production line?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kinnip, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I knew I had a small egg eating issue. I knew it wasn't dietary and I knew it wasn't habitual. I thought it was just a few eggs laid from roosts, but I found a couple of wet spots in the nest boxes. Recently, I had to separate a suspect hen for other reasons. Holy cow what a difference! Since she's been inside, egg eating has ceased. I know it wasn't just her, because I've caught others in the act. I think she was eating the shell and the others were hoovering up the remains.
    What I've discovered since she's been inside alarms me. She's only a tiny Andalusian and has never been particularly healthy. Nevertheless, she's laying two eggs every other day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Unfortunately, even with the oyster shell and layer feed, the second egg is always soft. Of course, she eats the soft shell. She does leave the rest, which I think is where the other girls come in. That's why it stopped without her, they didn't know that gooey goodness came from inside a shell. I think I may have a house hen now. She's really quite bright for a chicken and I seriously doubt cheap tricks will fool her. I've already tried fake eggs. It seems to slow it down, but it doesn't stop it. I'm about to stitch some curtains, but I don't hold out much hope. At this point, I just don't know if I should put her back out there at all. It would really suck if she taught the others.
     
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i would not risk her showing the others....
     
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    SC
    Howdy kinnip,
    Sorry for the hassle you are enduring. I, too, have a disappearing egg problem, but I am personally aquainted with the yellow rat snake involved and don't begrudge him/her a few eggs. (since I don't have any sayso anyway) However, in this past week, I am finding remains of shells, and since the snake eats it all whole, I am beginning to suspect my hens, too. But which, out of 10? How do you know which one is doing it?

    I don't understand about "stitch some curtains". I have had soft shells on occasion, but it was from babies still practicing.

    Why oh why do we persist in this form of torture!
    STILL love the goat!
     
  4. Poorfarmer

    Poorfarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    ranchhand i catch the eaters by the egg on their face after the do the crime. then seperate out the offender with the most egg."stitch some curtains". would be done to enclose the nest so that the chikens can't see the eggs in the nest
     
  5. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Yep, the nestbox curtains are pretty little jobs with bumblebees, hopefully both effective and attractive.
    This hen does have egg on her. In fact, I've been wondering how I managed to miss it before. It's like a yellow shellac on her toes and tips of her comb. I'm sure there was some on her beak, but she usually just wipes it off.
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    You mean they're able to figure out how to go behind the curtain to lay?
     
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Oh dear, who am I to point fingers, when I usually have egg on MY face! [​IMG]
     
  8. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I asked the same question, and apparently, they do just push their way through. Pushy as my girls are, I can believe it.
     

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