Eating eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kburen, May 16, 2011.

  1. kburen

    kburen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    I think my chickens have started eating their eggs [​IMG] I was getting 2-3 eggs a day from my 3 hens for about 3 weeks. Then they kicked all of the shavings out of the nest box so the eggs were cracking when they layed them....Now we're getting NO eggs and we found a piece of a shell in the coop when we did some cleaning up yesterday. How do you break them of it???? I miss getting eggs already!!! Also have 2 roos if that makes a difference....
     
  2. ksmith

    ksmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
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    I have been experiencing this right now also. My girls have started to break the habit, and I am getting around 7-8 eggs a day out of my 10 girls. I will find on average 1 egg broken per every couple of days. It is a very hard thing to break, and is SO frusterating!! [​IMG] Here is what I wrote on another post:

    I am starting to break the cycle of egg eating. What I have been doing is in each nesitng box I place a rock that looks like an egg, or you can buy wooden eggs. They peck at them and it discourages the behavior. The second thing that I have been doing, is going to the store and finding some cheap eggs to buy (Only because I dont want to waste my tastey eggs) and blowing out the insides, Then filling them with mustard and anything else that you think they might not like. To blow the egg you can use a pin head and poke a whole in each end. Then straighten out a paper clip and stick it in the egg to break the yolk. You can blow the egg out with a straw or whatever. Then before filling it with mustard, light a candle and use the melted wax to plug up the one end. This next part is very messy, becuase it is difficult to fill the egg with such a tiny hole (which you can make larger, but its harder to plug the end up). What I have found to work out best so far is a syringe. Then once it is about 1/2 to 3/4 full you can plug the other end up with melted wax. They hate the taste of mustard, and when they get a taste of it, they start to stop. I will place two of the mustard filled eggs in the nests a day until there is not as much breaking. I hope you have success with your egg eating girls! It is soo very aggravating.
     
  3. kburen

    kburen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Thanks for the tips [​IMG] Gonna try some "fake" eggs first and see how that goes. Since I'm home today and know about when they tend to lay, I've been going out to the coop and checking and trying to take them before they try to get to them. I'm pretty sure that's whats happening...First thing this morning I got excited because I found one in the box that looked ok....When I took it out I saw that it's cracked....not to the point of them getting a taste of anything, but it's far more cracked than if it were layed and there wasn't enough cushin to catch it. I just found another one and took it out, that one is good so it's sitting and waiting for more to join it so they can go in the incubator [​IMG]
     
  4. ksmith

    ksmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, collecting the eggs as frequent as possiblewill help too [​IMG]
     
  5. BANTAMWYANDOTTE

    BANTAMWYANDOTTE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GOOD ADVICE SO FAR AND THIS IS MY TECHNIQUE, MAY OR MAY NOT BE AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE OTHERS POSTED BEFORE ME BUT I WISH TO ONLY INFORM. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF OFFENDING THE PREVIOUS POSTERS BY UNINTENTIONALLY BELITTLING THEIR TECHNIQUES. I WISH TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCE ON THIS TOPIC AND PROVIDE MORE OPTIONS, THEREFORE INCREASING THE OP'S CHANCES OF SUCCESSFULLY STOPPING THIS. I MEAN NO OFFENSE AND POST THIS WITH ONLY HONEST AND GOOD INTENTIONS. EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SOLVING ANY PROBLEM.



    This has worked for me in the past with about a 40% rate of success (approx). In 15 years, I have had a few hens start this and a bit more than half had to find there way to a pot to avoid my flock learning this behavior. Adult chickens tend to be more instinctual creatures rather than inquisitive creatures. Meaning, most of what they know about their needs/wants for a successful life come from natural instinct (and from mama's teachings as a chick). Very few of their behaviors are learned by observing other hens (in adulthood) but this is one that is learned not embedded in their genes.


    Find the guilty girl.

    Take a hard boiled egg and roll it into the coop. Stay out of sight while they observe the egg. Watch for the hen(s) that pecks at it the hardest with the most determination, that's your girl. Remove her. While following my advice here with the flock, do the same for her.

    ON A POSITIVE NOTE:

    Get up earlier and feed/water them to ensure you are not missing any eggs or that eggs don't spend un-necessary time in the nest. Try to devote one or two days to observing the flock and find out what time to expect eggs.

    Some studies have shown that boredom, thirst ,lack of calcium, vitamin D , and/or Protein Deficiency are the common reasons that this behavior starts. Because it is a learned behavior, prevention is the key to avoiding it completely. This may or may not cure the
    Do all of these things

    You can prevent this behavior by giving them lots and lots of fresh cool, clear water. Chickens are naturally afraid of water, so they like water that is clear enough that they can see the bottom.

    Give them milk with some sugar added to it. This provides both calcium and Vitamin D.

    Give them a feed supplement with a protein content higher than 18%. I try to find a feed that I can mix with layers scratch so that they are getting oyster shells as well.

    Provide something entertaining for them to do that will occupy their time throughout the day. I usually put a tennis ball in a sock (or nylon) and cover the inside and outside with peanut butter. Then roll it in sunflowers. This gives them about six hours of entertainment.


    Hope this helps you.....Best of luck.


    Timothy in KY
     
  6. ksmith

    ksmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
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    Quote:Excellent tips! I have heard about the milk idea, but havent tried it yet. I will have to yry that along with the Peanut butter sock idea.
     

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