egg eater by the second egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenbythesea, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    Ok, I have nine chickens and one is laying... don't know who. We got the first one last sunday and my son just found a broken one... broken neatly in half in the coop. Now it was in a corner so we didn't find it, it could have been there for a couple of days. Is it possible that I have an egg eater all ready? and if so how do you find out who? I think I'll get hubby to modify their nesting boxes to roll away, but they haven't even figured out how to use them yet. I hear everyone here saying to cook the egg eater but we've just got started with laying. And how do you identify? Anyways, words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I did the golf balls in their boxes but I'm a nursing student and my hubby works shifts, I check as regularly as I can but I don't know what to do, I can't sit in the coop 24/7.
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    It is a little early to start panicking or planning a chicken dinner. They are just starting to lay. It is possible the shells are not very hard yet, and eggs are being broken by accident. Are you feeding them layer pellets? The more often you can check for eggs the better. If the eggs are not sitting out there, they can't come to harm. I would try to collect eggs as often as possible and make sure they have enough calcium in their diets.
  3. Patches The Hen

    Patches The Hen Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 26, 2011
    Oh that's terrible!

    I think , you could have an egg eater already. If your chickens think it's edible, they'll probably peck at it.
    What I usually do when I have an egg eater is at bedtime when they are all on the roost I'll inspect their beak, head, and breast for any evidence(yolk) That's usually effective, but sometimes through out the day the yolk will get wiped and scraped off.

    Probably the only sure way to do it would be to get a video camera and place it infront of the nestboxes. But that's a little on the expensive side.

    Good luck!!!!!!
  4. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I believe this is common and usually will resolve itself in new layers. It did with mine, and I had a couple of weeks of a few incidents of cracked or eaten eggs, soft shells, egg-laying on ground rather than nest, etc. Try not to worry yet.

    They are figuring it out, don't know the routine, what eggs are (normal to test edibility of everthing!), what's happening, etc. Try to offer an alternative form of calcium to strengthen shells, like yogurt or milk.

    Good luck.
  5. Justhatched

    Justhatched Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2011
  6. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    Get a boiled egg and roll it under their noses in the coop. If they all dive on it and persistently try to eat it then yes they are probably egg eaters. If they have a bit of a look, maybe a tap, but quickly move on then they're most likely not.

    It's fairly unlikely new layers are egg eaters, though I'm sure it can happen. However they'll easily learn the behavior off an older bird that already does it.

    These habits often start with predators opening eggs in the nest, or eggs breaking due to thin shells. But while any hen will eat a cracked egg, it takes determination and experience to actually do the cracking. I wouldn't be panicking just yet, and until the girls are used to laying in a nestbox at all, I wouldn't attempt to roll nest them.

    Rats are happy to roll eggs into corners and break them to eat the contents. They can make quite a neat job of it too, though in my small experience of rats eating eggs they mostly start at the end rather than the middle...

    Best wishes,
  7. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    there are no older birds... this is our first flock who are just coming to 20 weeks of age. I know now who's laying... she squats in front of me every time I try and pick her up. The broken egg was right in half... like when you're cracking an egg for cooking. It didn't looked pecked. So far the two eggs (one whole, one broken) are in great shape, the shell is hard as reg eggs and they're about a medium size. I do have oyster shell but haven't put it in there since only one is laying. Should I start putting it in anyways? I've had hubby and kids checking multiple times a day to hopefully catch the egg or the eater.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    You don't have an egg have nine. They will all opportunistically eat a weak-shelled and broken egg. Just increase calcium intake and don't panic...this time of year is when many people believe they have egg eaters when it is merely depletion of calcium caused by feather growth resulting in weak shells...which their hens recycle.

    In your case, it is merely a new layer and their eggs are a little wonky anyway...give the OS,up the protein levels and try not to worry.
  9. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    looking at where my son found it, I think the hen might have laid if off the roost and it feel.... thanks for all the help
  10. TheOldHen

    TheOldHen Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2011
    Green Bay,WI
    I hear your pain and frustration, I am a newbe and have 4 hens. They are 21 weeks old. One of my hens was strange yesterday and i was worried she was egg bound or sick. Well this morning i found a smashed egg on the floor--it looked like she dropped it from the roost. The shell was almost like thick plastic. I figured they all had a taste. This afternoon i went out to straighten up the house before they came back in for the night and i found another on the floor. Same soft plastic shell and bedding under it was wet and yellow. So now if am worried, was it a hen who ate it or did they just step on it and broke it??? Like you i can't watch them 24-7. So now they are all roosting and i will check on them before i go to bed than again at 6AM and so on until i open their house to let them range in my little back yard at 10. If you figure out some, please let me know.

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