Caught my egg eaters, now what?

MandiRock

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
59
1
39
Central Mississippi
I have 3 barred rock and 2 white rock hens. I've had at least one egg eater for about two weeks now, but haven't been home to keep an eye on them to see who it was. Two days ago I put a mustard egg in the nest box and caught one of my white rocks red handed.. well, mustard beaked. And contrary to internet lore, she seemed to actually like it. I didn't have time to do anything about it then.

This morning I knew I had a free day, so I grabbed the white rock I thought I'd caught and separated her into a smaller cage. She laid an egg and never touched it over the two hours she was in that cage (no worries, she was shaded with food and water). Later on, I caught one of my barred rocks eating an egg from the nest box, so I put her into the small cage and let the first white rock out into the run. About a half hour later, I caught my other white rock eating an egg, so into a second smaller cage she went. I know it was a different bird because I marked the first one.

So right now I have two egg eaters separated out, and three hens in the run. So far, the three still in the run haven't showed any interest in the egg left in the nest box.

What do I do from here? They are almost 2 years old. DH doesn't want them if they're egg eating, so I need to break them of it or we'll have to rehome or cull them. Should I continue to keep them separated from the flock during the day so that they don't eat all the eggs? Its been so bad lately that most days I don't find anything in the nest box but a heap of broken shells unless I'm home to check continuously throughout the day. I've only for 4 eggs in the fridge right now when I usually have 2 dozen.
 

Rich386

Songster
8 Years
Jul 21, 2011
718
49
123
Live Oak, FL
Have you ever read Alice In Wonderland? Take the Queens Advice.
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!
That may be harsh but sending them some where else just gives some one else your problem. I know of no one that has had success in breaking this habit. As a matter of fact as the others get a taste and associate it with the egg they will do it to.
 

warmheart

Songster
7 Years
Sep 30, 2012
428
31
118
Norton, MA
This sounds horrible, but we hollowed out several eggs via pinholes, and filled them with an extreme, terrible "Wasabi horseradish" sauce, then plugged the holes in the eggshells with DAP caulking. Best to REALLY wash your hands after filling with the wasabi horseradish, that stuff is extremely potent.
sickbyc.gif
These home-made egg bombsare memorable to an egg-eating hen.

Another option are roll-away nestboxes, where the egg safely drops down away from the hen, and where you alone have easy access to it.

Best wishes for success!
 

MandiRock

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
59
1
39
Central Mississippi
Lol at "off with their heads" :)

I'm considering this roll away nest box thing. However, my husband is out of town so I would have to figure out how to make it on my own. Nowhere around here sells them, and since we made our own nest boxes it looks like the inserts won't fit.
 

my sunwolf

Songster
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
2,236
157
208
Southwest Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can sit and wait for the egg eaters to lay, then take their eggs before they can eat them and replace with golf balls (or the wasabi egg). They will peck and realize that the golden deliciousness does not come out of golf balls. Do this for 3-4 days as you supplement oyster shells directly into their feed (to make shells so hard that they're a little more difficult to break). This is how I've cured my egg-eating hens. Good luck!
 

RiddleMe

Songster
8 Years
Feb 8, 2011
618
38
146
Central Oregon
Lol at "off with their heads" :)

I'm considering this roll away nest box thing. However, my husband is out of town so I would have to figure out how to make it on my own. Nowhere around here sells them, and since we made our own nest boxes it looks like the inserts won't fit.
If you are attached, I'd go with the roll out nest boxes. I built mine specifically because I had one egg eater, and she was one of my best layers. Now I love them, they keep the eggs really clean and make collecting a breeze.
 

MandiRock

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
59
1
39
Central Mississippi
If you are attached, I'd go with the roll out nest boxes. I built mine specifically because I had one egg eater, and she was one of my best layers. Now I love them, they keep the eggs really clean and make collecting a breeze.
Well I don't know how to use the power tools and DH won't be home for two weeks so... guess I'm gonna have to get creative :) I'm making a trip to town this afternoon so I'll stop by tractor supply and the hardware store to see if they have any ideas. I can work the drill and the staple gun, but that's as far as my abilities go!
 

MandiRock

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
59
1
39
Central Mississippi
Well I packed up some wood and went to my dad's shop yesterday afternoon. He had no idea what I was talking about when I said roll away nest box, but I printed a picture and he built one for me! Three eggs today so far and nothing broken or eaten! I went ahead and picked up some oyster shell as well. I've always thought the shells were pretty strong but a little extra can't hurt :)

Thanks everybody!
 

PandoraChick

Songster
8 Years
Apr 5, 2011
148
4
108
The Dunes Indiana!
I have an egg eater I have been successful managing for a couple months, with the help of my Queen B, broody Lady. I have two RR hens that I really cant decide who is doing the egg eating, but it is one of them for sure. I also have oyster shell out and give them plenty of treats, but she got the taste of it and like it. I was being sort of lazy since we installed the automatic coop door opener and not collecting the eggs till afternoon sometime. I started getting them earlier and then the ones I can not collect early enough my EE hen guards them till I can get there and collect. I have a few broody ones that will stay on the eggs till I can get them, but one in particular is always there. It still happens every once in awhile, but I do not have the heart to cull them..they are good hens otherwise and lay beautiful eggs. If it continues, I may look into installing an egg collector.

Good luck and I hope it works well for you :)
 

MANNA-PRO

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