Egg bound chicken ate her eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SunnyTango, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. SunnyTango

    SunnyTango Out Of The Brooder

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    One of the ISA brown chickens we have was very unwell (lethargic, down facing tail and having clear contractions), and after realising she was egg bound we gave her a long warm bath, dried her and kept her in the house over night. This morning when we went to check on her there was 2 eggs shells, one normal looking one, and a clear semi hard sac which I assume is an under developed egg. Sunny has eaten both eggs and was very aggressive when we took them off her.
    Is this related to her being egg bound, or is this the start of an extremely bad habit?
    After passing the eggs during the night and being let outside she is so much happier and looks great.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. RoxysAnimals

    RoxysAnimals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stress can cause them to eat their eggs. It also restores much needed calcium and nutrients that they gave to create the egg. She was probably stressed out being without the other chickens for a long time, and being egg bound is painful. She probably freaked out and ate her egg. Nothing to worry about. She should be alright now.
     
  3. SunnyTango

    SunnyTango Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Thank you, your post helped relieve some worrying.

    While putting them back in their shed tonight I noticed Sunny was reluctant to eat so I made up some food for her and sat with her while she ate a little bit with a lot of encouragement. She suddenly popped out an egg, she turned around and pecked towards it but I stopped her. She then started eating super fast (like normal). I sat and protected the egg for about 10 minutes but it was clear at both ends and egg coloured around the middle. When I gently picked it up it was soft like a balloon with basically no shell at all. We let it sit a bit longer but it did not harden at all. The inside of the egg was normal.

    Is this related to her being egg bound last night? The other 2 chickens have the same diet and no problems with their eggs at all.
     
  4. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a problem caused by ISA brown chickens and always happens to them, I've had a few and they ALL have problems, this is the most common one.

    ISA brown chickens are the least healthy kind of chicken available, it is most often found in factories as a cage bird and is not a real breed at all, it's a hybrid bird, that is, the mother and father are not ISA brown chickens.

    At 6 months they start laying same as most chooks, except the shell is usually very hard. So hard that if it is fertilized the chick usually can't break the shell. BUT, and here is why ISA brown chickens are so common, they lay about one egg per day rather than the usual 5 or 6 per week that other breeds do. That slight edge is why factories love them. This superavian (superhero) power is shortlived. At two years old ISA brown chickens are already beginning to break down internally. Rather than living for 8 years or so like regular backyard and pet breeds, ISA brown chickens are already about to die. GRUESOMELY most of the time. eggs without shells is a good day. They often can't make the protiens to make feathers anymore and go bald. They get airway infections, well, actually, you can look up all the awful details yourself.

    ISA brown chickens are past their lifespan at 2 years old and so factories LOVE to dump them on unsuspecting members of the public because they can make a better buck than putting them down would make. They are worthless as a human's meal at two years, they have no meat on them. A dog would be hard pressed to get a meal out of one, well maybe a handbag dog. maybe.

    Don't worry about it first off, the egg eating seems to be more related to the fails in eggmaking than bad behavior. Make sure they have a cup of shellgrit, if they freerange then put it out somewhere in the yard or in a shed with an open door rather than in the coop where it gets dirty and spilled. They eat almost none. You won't see it go down. You can also use a blender on the eggshells in your kitchen, with plenty of rinsing them as you go, and feed that to them when it looks like coarse sand. When they have good food including kitchen scraps from you and neighbors plus grit, they won't go after the eggs. Buy plastic eggs from china for about $3-4 a dozen, they get bored trying to break them. Make long dark nestboxes they can't see in because they are reasonably dark (we see better than chooks). This all reduces the problem down to the minimum which is ISA brown chickens WILL always lay eggs without shells and eggs with cracked and broken shells as soon as you buy ISA brown chickens because they are in the process of a gruesome death in front of the kids thanks to factory farms, thank you very much. Get any other breed of chicken.

    Presented with an egg that has no shell, any chicken will eat it for all the same reasons that we eat eggs. They are a good feed. ISA brown chickens will always eat their eggs because ISA brown chickens will always lay eggs without shells. Don't worry, take the preventative measures and like me and my mixed flock which still has I think 3 or 4 ISA brown chickens that are getting sicker, they'll live out what lives they have, lay what good eggs they can, and you'll still get the eggs from the rest of the flock and even from the Isas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. SunnyTango

    SunnyTango Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Wow, that's really depressing that I've gotten the wrong breed. But, thank you for your advice I will definitely take it all on board and start investigating other breeds and eventually add to the flock with some better chooks. I will not let the ISAs suffer, when it's obvious that they are at the end of their lives then they will be put down.
    As a new chook owner I am glad to be on a forum with honestly and advice.
    Thanks again.
     
  6. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't blame yourself, there are a LOT of people who think ISA Brown choocks are a good choice, at first, ISA Browns are a commercial product which is actually copyright and if you bred them yourself you couldn't sell them without first winning and paying a fortune for the rights to the name, and the right to sell them.

    As a commercial product, they HAVE an advertising budget. Non commercial breeds don't. So non commercial breeds you can only find out about via word of mouth. There is nobody making money in order to put a percentage of it into advertising.

    You are welcome, but more importantly, YOU ARE THE RESISTANCE !!! Please, if you see some family wanting to get chooks for the kids, or anyone who might get chooks, let them know, you will save them the grief of buying the many seeming good looking 2 year old ex-factory chooks and getting an early lesson that will put them off chooks permanently. Regular chooks live about 8 years.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd not jump to conclusions just yet....consider other opinions and your own observations/experience that you will gain over time.
    Isa browns can be excellent birds, any breed can have trouble with her egg laying system.
    New layers often lay soft or thin shelled eggs, an easily broken egg is fair game for eating and will not always lead to an incorrigible egg eating habit.


    How old is this layer?
    Did she just start laying?
    What are you feeding?
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, you don't need to sound like the prophet of doom when you tell them, you could just point out that they should study because there are problems.
     
  9. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Going by your own experience is no good if you have none, that's like not researching a car before you buy it. I can imagine a car salesman telling me "You have to buy the car and drive it around for a few years to know, there IS no other way to know, all research is no good, don't listen to anyone, listen to me, buy the car"

    Here is something from animalstudiesrepository.org

    Quote:
    compared the mortality rates of four hen genetic types: ISA Brown, New Hampshire, White Leghorn,
    and a cross between New Hampshire and White Leghorn hens. The ISA Brown strain is used for
    commercial brown egg production. The New Hampshire and White Leghorn strains are pure lines of
    the respective breeds and have been moderately selected for characteristics important under free range
    conditions. For the experiment, all four genetic types were reared under identical conditions: indoors
    in pens until they reached 16 weeks of age and then given free-range access. The mortality rates observed
    were 19.9% for the ISA Brown hens. For the New Hampshire hens it was 13.8%. For the White
    Leghorn hens it was 6.7% and, for the cross, it was3.9% . Since the rearing and housing conditions
    were identical, the differences resulting from genetics could be observed. Where mortality was high, a
    primary cause was injurious pecking behavior,a common problem in commercial flocks.
    http://animalstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=acwp_faafp
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  10. SunnyTango

    SunnyTango Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2015
    I'm not entirely sure how old she is, my understanding when I bought her a month ago from a backyard chicken owner that she had only been laying a few months. She is getting a mix of layer pellets, and a mixed feed (seeds, lucern, corn, grains, etc), table scraps and has plenty of grass and gardens (plus a trailer load of old horse manure) to scratch in all day.
     

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