eating eggs / portion to feed hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by evaraye, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. evaraye

    evaraye Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2007
    South Louisiana
    How do you know you are giving your hens enough food? is there like an amount per hen?
    Also, I think my hens are eating the eggs... any solutions?

    We have had a similiar thing happen... we were collecting up to 5 eggs a day then one day we got 1 egg. the next day... 1 egg... then I collected one in the early morning.. at about 10 am my hubby found 2 in the nest box, but he left them in for me to collect when I got home from work... later after lunch he went to check on things because we have been so suspicious that we might have a snake... and one egg was missing... with no trace of it anywhere... we were almost certain that it must be a snake... but in examining some of the eggs, it looks like they are all scratched up, like the chickens are scratching at them... we have one hen who sits on her egg or any golf balls... she is so docile and gentle... I named her "Mother Hen"... we did find clear liquid spots in the coop and this morning several chickens were pecking at the liquid solution. could they be eating the eggs... maybe we don't have a snake... maybe its a bit of both... our neighbor found a snake skin shed in his garage... looks like it is about 6feet long and he says it's an egg eater...

    Well I'm baffled... I have 18 hens and we started getting eggs 3 weeks ago... we collected 18 eggs the first week... 23 the second week... 16 this week... and one of the eggs this week was so cute... it was the size of a nickel... crazy... we did get quite a few big ones the second week, but now this week, all we had were small ones... and one hen lays eggs that are sorta flat on one side... the eggs don't roll... very odd...

    But we are having so much fun! I hope we don't have a snake... Ughhh... and I hope my hens are not eating the eggs... if anyone has a solution to our problem... please......... post a reply....

    BLESSINGS! Eva
     
  2. FrankBlissett

    FrankBlissett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
    Well, you know SOMETHING's eating them.

    To narrow the list of suspects some, set an egg down on the ground and watch your girls. We use cheap supermarket eggs for this, btw. Do they ignore it or maybe peck it a little? Or do one or two really try to get in there?

    If you can segregate chickens, set one or two aside for the day, along with a (marked) egg. If it comes up missing, you've found your culprit.

    -Frank
     
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Collecting eggs often is good flock management. Finding eggs and leaving them there is a wrong decision. Broken eggs are the result and egg suckers are going to be born.

    Collect eggs often as possible.
    Darken the nests with material in the front opening, cutting a slit for the entrance....the hens will go right in and lay.
    hens won't eat eggs they can't see.
    Increase the protein in their diet with black oil sunflower seeds and dry cat food. Hens looking for additional protein in the diet will find it in the eggs. Good Luck!

    bigzio
     
  4. chickenman7

    chickenman7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2007
    TX
    You've got a snake problem.Just like me.[​IMG]
     
  5. evaraye

    evaraye Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2007
    South Louisiana
    I was wondering if we are not feeding them enough... and that could be making them eat the eggs... the last two days, my husband was outside working in the yard and around the coop all day long, so maybe if it is a snake, he would have seen it... on Friday we only had one egg and it was the size of a nickel... a tiny little egg... today, we had 4 eggs... one of them we found on the ground and you could tell it had been pecked at. It had scratches all over it...

    Is there an amount of feed to measure per chicken to give them a day?

    Eva
     
  6. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Free feed them. Give them all they want with access to it all the time.
     
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    You need to have your feed out in feeders 24/7...and like just whats been said to stop an egg eater is to collect your eggs often...

    Also this is the time for molting with chickens and a small egg can sometimes be a wind egg (no yolk inside the egg) as they are called when a hen stops laying to start her molt....some won't lay when molting....
     
  8. klnlehmann

    klnlehmann Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2007
    We also have an egg eater. I actually got on today to ask the same question.

    So, my grandmother told me to put vinegar in the water. Any truth to this?

    Also, after we segrigate the eater(s)... We do not kill them and really wouldn't want egg eaters. Any way to re-train them like you would a stray dog?

    Also, someone said something about a dark laying box? How successful is this if the eater is still in the group? Was also wonderring about a laying box designed to have the egg fall through to a bottom collecting area? Does anyone have a design for this?

    Cat food for protien sounds like a great idea. The kids have been collecting snails and slugs for them.
     
  9. FrankBlissett

    FrankBlissett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
    "...Any way to re-train them like you would a stray dog?..."

    A period of seperation from the flock might break the habit, though I wouldn't know how long is a good length of time in seg.

    A common method is to put a hot (spicy) concoction in blown eggs and leave them for the hen. I mean, spicy enough to REALLY irritate the hen's mucus membranes.

    -Frank
     
  10. klnlehmann

    klnlehmann Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2007
    That is a good idea! I am formulating a plan in my head right now! I think I hasve some green chili sauce just waiting in the refridgerator! We used the same idea to get the dogs to stop eating food off the counter. I always feel a bit guilty about it though.
     

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