Cannablistic Egg Eating Silkie!!! ARGH!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vfem, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I didn't want to believe it, but yesterday I hatched my first silkie chick under 2 of my 4 silkie hens. This is when I noticed one of the hatching eggs was cracked from the outside and bleeding. I was unable to save him, as he wasn't ready to hatch yet. I also saw yolk in the coop from a freshly hatched egg. I cleaned it all up quickly while trying to get food and water and everything out for the newly hatched chick.

    Then today, another hatching egg was missing from the 2 left to hatch (should have been today or tomorrow). The only egg left had yolk on the outside. I found one tiny bit of egg shell in the entire coop and no chick body or yolk on anything else.

    Someone is eating my hatching eggs!!!!! [​IMG]

    I'm so mad, and I'm so freaked out. I need to locate the one doing it and move her/him IMMEDIATELY!!! How can I tell? I think I saw yolk on one of my black female's mouths. If its her, off with her head... but I need to be sure.

    I've heard of egg eaters... I don't know HOW this happened... I collect daily, sometimes twice. Someone has managed to kill 2 chicks AND eat them! Plus, they got a fresh egg too.

    I would bring the last egg in to hatch it myself but I have no incubator, and I'm pretty sure the mama's are NOT the one's doing this. There are no signs on them they ever touched the eggs other then sitting on them.

    Oh, and what do I do with the egg they are sitting on that has yolk on it... its all hard, and I'm afraid the smell might attract whomever is doing it back after that last egg.

    There were originally 5 (one got kicked out weeks again), one hatched and one only has a slim chance of surviving.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009

  2. chicklady63

    chicklady63 Songster

    Feb 10, 2009
    I think if I were you I would remove the remaining egg/eggs yet to hatch and one broody with it into a separate area if possible. I'd probably put the baby in a brooder or with her if you feel she's not one of the culprets & she probably isn't.
    So sorry - that's a terrible thing to deal with. I haven't had this happen, but I do know that chickens will eat almost anything and certainly an egg if they ever get the taste for it. Actually, they seem to love them. Obviously they might eat a young hatchling, too. Which is disgusting to us.
    I have discovered that some broodies are much more protective than others. If you watch your flock & notice this, those are the ones you want to encourage to set on the eggs if possible.
    There are clips you can attach to their beaks to prevent them from pecking each other and eating eggs if you want to go that route. (I have no experience using them though). I have had some of mine eat the newly laid eggs from time to time. I got real diligent about collecting the fresh eggs & started replacing them with a fake egg. After a while they seemed to realize that they couldn't eat it and stopped bothering any egg.
    You might try feeding them extra during hatching times too so they won't be as inclined to pick at the eggs. I wish you luck, and again, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. [​IMG]
  3. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I am going to take mama, unhatched egg, and baby inside into a broodier. Now its trying to break the 'chicken' who has started this need to eat eggs.

    Would simple plastic easter eggs work?! I want to try to advert them from the real ones. Though, like I said, I never leave eggs out in the coop very long at all. I collect daily, maybe twice a day.... the only one's ever left out there are under my broodies.

    My little hatching machines are going to have a rude awakening if we can't fix this issue and fast! I never thought I could cull a chicken, but I know now if this is what is going to happen I'm going to have to. I'll be eating chicken before I lose anymore eggs.

    (Husband made me agree to sell some chicks in the spring to get the birds to pay for their own food.)
  4. sandypaws

    sandypaws Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    ohgosh.. sorry to hear,, i have had this happen,, it is so sad.. and sickening to think they are eating the babies inside the eggs.. but they do...
    if i suspect a paticular hen.. i will cut a small part off the top of her beak (it bleeds a bit, i stop the bleeding with "quikstop") the beaks will grow back...
    if the egg eating stops you know you got the right hen...

    sometimes i wil take a fresh egg and set it in the middle of the coop floor and see who runs over and starts to peck at it..

  5. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    The decoy or 'sacrificial egg' in the floor is a great idea, but you have to be careful, dont cull the first to go after it! Many perfectly wonderful hens will go for eggs left out in the open.

    I suspected egg eating a couple weeks ago, and decided to booby trap some eggs when I saw everybody go charging at the egg I left on the floor! Soo, I blew out 5 eggs, and refilled them with hot mustard wattered down with killer jalepeno sauce. Now I know that hot foods do not affect thier tastebuds like they do ours, however, it does affect thier sinuses and thier tummies! I put out one egg a day, the first one was gone by night, and the second too, the third hung around for 24 hours, and the 4th and 5th never got touched, and I ended up tossing them!

    I also have hard stone eggs that I move from nest to nest, and leave on the floor. a few whacks on those pieces of granite may make an impression!

    If you have, or buy a 'flavor injector' from the store, blowing out and refilling eggs becomes really easy! Now, I take a booby trapped egg out every week or so, just to make sure that the little vultures are not back to the nonsense! My egg count has gone up a bit, but that could be attributable to spring coming, as well as our new rescue hens kicking in.

    Also, can you look into your coop without the little beasties knowing? I have a 'port hole' that lets me watch them, maybe over a cup of coffee you can just watch and see whats up? I learn a lot about my girls that way.

    Good Luck.

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