caught one of my chickens eating an egg!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by passionlady, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. passionlady

    passionlady New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2011
    I have six red sex-link chickens, two bantam leghorns and a bantam leghorn rooster. One of my sex-links started laying about a week ago, much to my surprise because we got them April 23rd so I was expecting it wouldn't be until late November that they would start laying. It was a wonderful surprise and she's been laying every day since....one so large that it doesn't fit in the egg carton! My 9 year old son brought home the three bantams which are all a few years old. We've gotten three eggs from them so far, but that's not my concern. A little while ago, I heard noise in their house so I went to investigate. When I got in there, I saw one of my bantams eating an egg that my sex-link had just laid. Needless to say, I am not too happy with her. A few minutes later, more commotion. Went back in and found that one of the bantams laid an egg and had started to peck at it, causing it to have a crack in the top of the egg. I'm new to raising chickens and absolutely LOVE it but now I'm wondering what's going on! The egg wasn't left in the nesting box long, probably about 10-15 minutes so why would she eat it? I don't know if this is where I'm supposed to post this question but any ideas as to why this is happening all of a sudden would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry to hear that. Egg eating is one of my biggest fears. I've never heard of any solution other than removing the chicken. Hopefully someone will have some useful information. Sorry
     
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    You need to move this hen out or everyone will be in on the egg eating before you know it.You can try moving her and see if she forgets the egg snacks.
    Just don't let her get the others hooked too.Sometimes they eat one by mistake, it cracked, it looked good, so she ate it. She may forget about it but seperate her so the others don't see if she is hooked.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  4. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    We cull immediately....

    Have tried everything under the sun to break a hen and it didn't help and if not removed from the flock she will teach everyone that eggs are yummy.....
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    The most important thing to know is that once they start, they usually don't stop. There are a couple of options I know of though. One is to get rid of the hen, and you do have an advantage in that you have seen her in action so know who the culprit is. (Many times it is hard to know who is doing it). The second option would be to build a roll out nest box. This is a box that is sloped so that the eggs roll to a tray in the back as soon as they are laid, and the chicken is unable to access the tray to eat the eggs. If you do a search for rollout or roll out nest box, you will find some examples and possibly even some plans to build one. Good luck!
     
  6. Ann Lotten

    Ann Lotten Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2011
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    Sounds like you may have been "given" a canabalistic chicken. There can be many different reasons for this including tight quarters or protein deficiency. There's lots of info on this site if you search it out, regarding this topic. It it were me, I would separate the problem hen from the others and up her protein. I give my chickens hard boiled eggs and break up the shell and give that to them as well. I've read that cooked shells are fine, but the raw shells will incourage a chicken to eat the eggs. Hard to know what the previous owner was doing to unknowingly create the problem. Good luck, it's a bad habit your trying to break there.
     
  7. passionlady

    passionlady New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Thank you all for your help. It will break my son's heart to get rid of her (luckily the person we got them from is a family friend and said we can return them any time) but I just don't understand why she would all of a sudden start doing this. Like I said, she is a few years old and they have never had a problem with her doing that before. I guess I figured that if she was going to do that then she would of started last week when my girl layed her first egg. But I don't want the others to follow in her bad behavior. The eggs are so yummy! It's just going to be sad to have to give her back. Thank you all again.
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Sometimes its an accident that it happens. An egg is laid that cracks, either because the shell is too soft or it hits something as it lands - sometimes even another egg. Seeing the contents, they are curious to try them and at some point a light bulb comes on and they realize that they could have this treat more often if they deliberately break the egg open.
     
  9. brahmakid11

    brahmakid11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sitting on the toilet
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Lovemychics

    Lovemychics New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2011
    Cull her out for a little while and feed oyster shell to your hens. Helps toughen the shell.
     

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