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Egg eater deterrent. Yellow Mustard... what else?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BeardedLadyFarm, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I caught an egg eater in the act today. Putting her down is not an option, though tempting. She is a pet SLW, and has been the quietest shyest one of my pullets. Besides, she's really small, and wouldn't make much soup.

    I've done some reading on here and it seems yellow mustard is good deterrent. Any other suggestions for things they don't like? Some suggest cayenne pepper, but I feed that to them already, and they don't mind it a bit.

    I have a mustard loaded blown egg ready to go in the coop while they're sleeping tonight.

    They have 2 wooden eggs per box already. Maybe I'll try to make the nests darker too. Other ideas?

  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    How about the hottest pepper inside that egg??? Not your usual Tabasco but the HOT ones! Probably from a resturaunt that sells wings can sell you a bottle!
  3. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    In addition to the mustard and all that try to be sure she isn't constantly being chased off the regular feed all the time. Maybe extra protein for her.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  4. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    Quote:She is one of the most timid, but she eats her share. I have layer pellets out of a big feeder, but I also have another big pan of grower feed, since there are still a couple young ones out there with them and they prefer to eat out of the flat pan. Actually, about a week ago, I switched it to game bird feed since I was worried about one of the young ones not getting enough protein. Other than a handful of scratch in the morning and at bedtime (for 12 chickens) she's eating her choice of game bird starter or layer pellets. She's been laying for about 2 weeks.

    Maybe some cat food for everyone?
  5. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    Quote:I wouldn't sudjest giving her raw egg. [​IMG] [​IMG] Sorry not funny.
  6. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    From the Bantam Mailbox:
    Egg Eating Solution – Bob, Connecticut
    I had an especially stubborn hen that insisted on eating her eggs as soon as she layed them. I tried all the normal advise like darken the nest box, use of wooden eggs etc. Believe it or not this hen was smart enough to know the difference between a wood egg and her own. I even went so far as to paint the wood eggs to match her egg color. Still nothing worked.
    Finally I decided to take an egg from another hen and used a syringe to remove the contents, making a small hole at one end with the needle. I drew out the contents and replaced it with a mixture of the egg yolk and cayenne pepper. I refilled the egg using the syringe and then sealed the hole with a drop of wax. I fully expected her to break the egg when I put it in the pen and I wasn’t disappointed. It took her all of 10 seconds to have it broken and another minute to eat the entire thing. The rooster was also involved. I waited a couple of days and watched her closely in the afternoon waiting for her to lay. She did and promptly broke it and ate it again
    I didn’t want to give up as this is a valuable hen from an exceptional line. So I decided to try another mixture. Again I drew out the egg and this time replaced it with a mixture of yellow mustard, Bitter apple (available at pet stores to stop dogs from chewing} and cayenne pepper. Then I sealed the hole with wax and soaked the shell with bitter apple, hopefully making the shell bitter to the taste too. Walking out I figured she would break it quickly and she didn’t disappoint me. But she didn’t eat very much of it and walked around scraping her beak from side to side on the ground. I left the egg for the rest of the day and then removed the rest of it. The next day I put a new “hot” egg in the pen and she paid no attention to it. They have not broken another egg but I left a “hot” egg in the pen for over a week. I think she may have learned her lesson. The next time I have this problem I know exactly what I will do to stop it early.
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Someone else posted a few months ago that they filled an egg with liquid soap, and it worked.
    I had success with rearranging the coop. Good luck


  8. Equus5O

    Equus5O Songster

    Quote:That's an interesting point. My Polish have been caught eating eggs. They're at the low end of the totem pole, and I suspect they aren't eating the volume of laying pellets that the others are.
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I had an egg eater also. I blew out an egg and, using a syringe, filled the egg with a really hot tobasco type sauce. She got into that one and has never touched another egg since. Each chicken is different though... so what works for one chicken may not work for another. Try all the suggestions above and see if one of them finally works for you.

    Another important factor with egg eaters is to collect eggs as many times as you can through the day. That's easy for stay at homers but harder for people who work.

    Some people have also gone to the more extreme action of slanting the floor of the nest boxes and having the back wall open at the bottom so the eggs immediately roll out of the nest box and onto a little shelf where the chickens cannot get to them. (That's how large factories work.) You would want to make sure the floor isn't slanted so much that it's uncomfortable for the hens or they will go someplace else to lay; but the eggs need to be able to roll out. That also means that you probably cannot have any bedding in the nest box. My girls tend to scratch the bedding out and onto the floor when it's put in anyway so I don't know if that would affect the process negatively.

    Good luck... that is a very, very frustrating habit to try and break. If you don't stop her quickly you may very likely have other hens join her and pretty soon you get no eggs... your chickens get even better fed on they own eggs.
  10. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY

    After dark last night, I put a mustard filled egg in the coop. Sure enough this morning I found a pile of mustard on the coop floor, with very little shell left. Before we suggest calcium, they are on layer pellets, and there is free choice oyster shell. They range around my yard from dawn till dusk, each returning to the coop as needed so I don't think it's a competition situation.

    Has anyone else tried the bitter apple? I'm thinking that's the next step. Maybe soap too. Ugh, this is frustrating. I did get 5 unharmed eggs today so far. I tend to get a couple more in the afternoon. Maybe some curtains on the nest box this morning...

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