chicken eats her eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by guenther hubert, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. guenther hubert

    guenther hubert New Egg

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    I have a 7 or 8 month old isbar bluish black chicken. She crushes her egg and eats the yolk. I just started raising chicken so I am new at this. Free range and coop at night. I need some advise please.
     
  2. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To provide the best advice possible, we'll need some more information. Are you feeding them a quality food ration? Either a good layer or grower (with oyster shell on the side) feed should be the basis of their diet to cover their nutritional needs. Lacking protein or calcium could cause them to look to their eggs to fulfill basic nutritional requirements.

    How many chickens do you have? Large enough coop? Behavioral issues (including boredom) caused by the environment could also contribute to egg-eating.

    Are you able to retrofit your coop to install rollout nest boxes? Not an option for everyone, but they are great for avoiding/eliminating egg-eating issues.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Agreed more information is needed, either your nestboxes are too small and the egg is getting broken, broken eggs will almost always be eaten to clean up the nest, or there's a deficiency in the feed causing them to crave the eggs, or they are crowded and confined with nothing else to do.
     
  4. guenther hubert

    guenther hubert New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2015
    I have 10 chicken, all pullets between 6 month and 8 month old. The coop is made for 16 chickens with 6 nest boxes. A closed in run 14 feet by 4 feet. Every morning I open the run for the enclosed free garden. This place is 40 feet by 40 feet, every morning fresh cabbage, lots of oyster shells some of it in a extra bowl and some of it mixed in with the layer food. I also feed some tried egg shells. Besides all that I also feed some corn mix. They get lots of attention sense I am working in the garden. Every day fresh water 2 times. I have 2 water containers one with some apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon per gallon. All the rest of the chicken doing fine. I get 5 to 6 eggs every day. On a cobble of mornings I found an egg without a hard shell. I am sure that has to do with the age of the chicken. It is a Legbar Sport and is a genetic mishap. She is white. Legbar chicken are generally not white. Thank you for your replay and your help. Looking forward to hearing from you. The coop is 8feet by 4 feet with 16 feet of roosting space.
     
  5. CGilbert

    CGilbert Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing I've read is, dont feed them their own egg shells (or eggs, unless scrambled). As for egg eaters, are they laying in nest boxes? If so, put up curtains in front of the nest boxes. It helps them so they don't see what they are wanting to eat
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Some hens don't do well on layer if extra stuff is a part of their diet. Layer feed is 16% protein, when extras are added total protein gets cut too much. I prefer to feed either an all flock or a non medicated grower, unless you are lucky enough to find a layer with higher protein. 18-20% seems to be a better amount to keep a hen producing eggs. I also recommend keeping birds on grower for a minimum of 8-10 months because they continue to grow even up to two years. Switching to layer too soon and they become deficient especially if they are also laying. My guess is your bird is craving extra protein. Otherwise your set up sounds nice.
     
  7. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I concur. Sounds like you have a very nice outside setup for the girls. The coop space seems a bit tight for 10 girls (recommendation is 4 SqFt usable coop space per hen) but if your girls are all getting along then it certainly isn't an issue. I'm glad to read you do have them on at least a layer ration. I am firmly in the camp of feeding grower (w/ oyster shell on the side) as I prefer my girls getting 20% protein to counter all the goodies I feed 'em...yes, I spoil 'em rotten! I'm of the opinion that 16% layer is only good (from a protein standpoint) if it is your girls' only source of food (maybe the rare treat now and then). Sounds like you have a great bit of choice in your environment (i'm VERY envious!) so it's possible they are hitting the eggs for the protein as all that yummy choice is likely diluting that 16% layer too much.

    Three quick/easy/cheap things to try. First, I recommend checking for/gathering eggs at least three times a day. They can't eat what isn't there. Next, I'd supplement protein either through replacing layer with grower or adding an extra protein source (canned tuna, meat, canned cat food, etc..just watch the salt content) for a week or so and see if the egg-eating halts. Another cheap/easy thing to do is hang some sort of "privacy curtain" in the nest boxes to make the environ inside a little darker to help dissuade eating.

    If those don't fix the issue, then if might be time to move towards something more involved/drastic like rollout nest boxes or the crock pot. Best of luck.
     
  8. guenther hubert

    guenther hubert New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2015
    thank you Monquire for your replay. The coop was build after a plan I purchased last year. It was mend for 16 birds according to this plan. The coop is only a stay for the night I am an early raiser and let them out all day till they go to sleep. I will follow your advice and my wife is making a curtain for the nest boxes. Fortunately it is only one bird who is eating her egg. My wife is checking very often for eggs and knows most of the habits of our 10 Ladies. Again thank you for your advise and very helpful explanations.
     
  9. guenther hubert

    guenther hubert New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2015
    thank you all for your helpful advices. I just hope I can stop this chicken from eating her eggs. It is a lot of fun to have those ladies around.
     
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    There is nothing wrong with feeding your hen's eggshells from eggs they laid.
     

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