can you eat eggs with pine tar on them?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chutewoman, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    Can you eat eggs that have been layed by hens with pine tar all over their bottoms? (canibal problems) They do seem to be eating some of the feathers with the tar on them also. Any opinions about this?
     
  2. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Sure, just don't eat the shell. [​IMG][/img]
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Hey, `neighbor'! Are they actually eating the feathers (or are they just getting stuck to their beaks)? Is the pine tar working to decrease the cannibalism? The stuff is toxic in large quantities. I'd use those eggs first (have no idea how long it would take for the volatiles in the PT to eat through the bloom).
     
  4. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    "Hello neighbor" to you! They are pecking at the tar covered feathers and areas, one would guess they are getting it in their mouths. They shake their heads and wipe their beaks on the ground. I do not know how much they are consuming. Yes it is for canibalism, tried all other remedies on site, they did not work. I can say the pine tar has calmed them down a bit, before the pine tar they would just focus on each others bottoms and backs, now they are more or less testing out the areas and them going on with life (more like normal chickens do) after getting a taste of the tar. I am hopeful this could cure them, just wonder if I will have to continue with it all winter. Therefore the egg question. ;o) What did you mean by "the bloom"? Have you ever dealt with canibalism? I am going to get a different breed next spring if they do not stop soon. Well I guess they will force me to because they will all have killed each other. :eek:(
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    The bloom is a coating, if you will, that the hen deposits on the outside of the egg. It prevents dirt and germs from getting inside the egg. If you wash the eggs you remove the bloom.
    If any of the pine tar gets on the eggs, I would just wipe the pine tar off with a paper towel and eat them as you normally would, using the ones that have been "tarred" first.
    You don't want to cover large areas of the chicken in pine tar, but make sure you put enough on the heavily picked areas that the pickers get a good taste. It worked wonders for my own little hen that was getting pecked as a baby.
     
  6. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    I do wash all my eggs with soapy water, is this bad?? I am covering their whole bottoms under the tail and the little spot between the wings on their backs with it. If I do not they will eat each other raw. I am afraid I will have to keep this up for the winter. Is this bad idea, can this eventually hurt them? I just do not know what else to do.
     
  7. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    What kind of hens do you have? Do they have plenty of room etc. Pine tar has been used for centuries to combat infection. We use to get it off the tree and melt it to use with a little alcohol. I have seen people chew the real stuff too. Never liked the smell THAT much. Yuck. Jean
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Yes, washing will remove the bloom. The bloom keeps the egg fresh much longer and free of outside contanminants. If the egg has no visible dirt, just store it unwashed and wash just before using it. For small areas of dirt, you can use fine grit sandpaper to brush the dirt off or I've found that alot of times just wiping with a paper towel will remove it. Wipe away from the egg, don't rub. If you must wash the egg make sure your water is approx. 10 degrees warmer than the egg and dry immediately. Use the washed eggs first. Never let the egg sit in water. Really dirty eggs I feed to the dogs, but the best way to keep from getting dirty eggs is to keep your nest boxes as clean as possible.
    Although I've think pine tar is wonderful in helping with minor pecking problems, it sounds like the pecking you are experiencing is extreme. Have you identified the guilty ones?
    ETA: As crazy hen referred to, sounds like you are going to have to work to identify what's causing the pecking before you'll see any change in the behavior.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  9. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    I now have 3 black sex link, 2 red sex links in a coop that is 4x8 with an outdoor covered area that is about 10x10. They were all doing good until about 2 weeks ago. I did have my 4 white silkies in the coop with them also, the sex links started pecking at them so I took them out but not before they killed one and injured the others. (that is what brought me to this site, live and learn) After I took the silkies out they wounded another sex link badly enough I had to cull her, she was not feeling well before the attack, crop trouble I think. Now they are pecking each others bottoms and backs clean. I seriously have done everything on this site to keep them from doing this, diet, boredom,space, outdoor time, vitamins, no parasites, it just seems too late for them. Like I said the tar seems to be working but I am now worried about the rest of the winter, it has only just begun here. :eek:( They are all still laying and I hate to waste the eggs. Sounds like the eggs should be fine. I so thank everyone for the advice.
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I'll be keeping you in my good thoughts that your pecking issues are resolved soon. [​IMG]
    Sounds like you are doing your best and just got a couple of bad apples (hens).
    I wouldn't worry about a little pine tar on the eggs.
     

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