Cannibalistic Behaviors

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Marthaf, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Marthaf

    Marthaf Hatching

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    Apr 24, 2019
    My red orpington was going along just fine giving me approx one egg every day. Now she has started eating her egg every day before I can get to it. (I think it is her but I do have one red orpington rooster and three crested polish (two hens and a rooster) who live with her.) I have tried supplementing the feed with oyster shells and meal worms for added calcium and protein but stil she continues. I also tried blowing out an egg, filling it with mustard and putting it in the coop. I read that that will discourage this behavior because chickens don't like the taste. She cracked that one open too, but still continues to eat her own. Any ideas how to cure her of this habit?
     
  2. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    If it was mine, this is what I would try: I think for like a week I'd go out to the run at like, three or four in the morning while they're still asleep, take her egg, and replace it with a ceramic one from the farm supply store. Do it for several days in a row and whoever is eating the eggs may give up on account of how they magically turned to stone at daybreak.

    Or for the lazy route, I might just leave several ceramic eggs in nest boxes for a week or so and let whoever the egg eater is try it out for awhile until they get frustrated.
     
  3. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

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    The only way to stop a chicken eating her eggs is to break the habit for a few days. There are many ways to do this. First of all, the obvious one, collect eggs are often as possible to limit the time the eggs are sitting around.
    Then Consider if you have enough nesting material in yout nest boxes, because often the habit starts when an egg is cracked and damaged and they realise there's yummy stuff inside.
    It is also recommended to keep your nest boxes as dark as possible so that the hens can't see the eggs and are less likely to try to eat them.
    Try adding fake eggs in the nests as @danceswithronin mentioned above.
    Lastly there is the option of DIY modifying your nest boxes so that the eggs roll back into a covered area. You can buy this kind of nest box I think but it might be cheaper to make them. Search for 'roll out' or 'roll away' nest boxes.
     
  4. Ms Clucky

    Ms Clucky Songster

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    Mine are trying to eat the eggs that a hen is sitting on to hatch. I have 4 hens setting and 3 of them are playing musical nests. That is really frustrating. How do I stop that?
     
  5. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    I would separate the broody hen while she broods so she can set in peace. In the wild a hen would not lay her nest among the flock, she would go off on her own to set a nest and then return once the babies are born. Lots of animals with competitive social hierarchies (like chickens) do this.
     
  6. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    I’m sure there are varying habits to different chickens but I have 3 egg eaters I have put in there own pen. I have tried everything mentioned except the rollout nest boxes. I also tried a 20 to 22 percent grower ration nothing worked. They are going to the stew pot. They eat there eggs immediately after laying them.
     
    danceswithronin likes this.
  7. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    Agreed. If I couldn't break them of this habit I would eat them.
     
  8. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    It’s really to bad one is a splash ameraucana and two blue Marans but there are noodles in there future.
     

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