egg eater HELP

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommyp, May 6, 2009.

  1. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2007
    Vestal
    My friend has organic chickens and has been getting a decreasing amount of eggs for the last month.We have looked for parasites externally she wormed them with garlic and nothing changed. She offsets some of the organic cost by selling eggs and is frustrated. She found some shell in one of the nesting boxes so she thought maybe an egg eater. We tested to see if we could figure out who by laying an egg in the run and like 8or 9 of her hens went after it. Are they all egg eaters? She was getting 5 eggs a day. Today she went out every hour and retrieved eggs and got 11. How do you break egg eaters? She is frantic and would hate to cull 3/4 of her flock. Please any advice. Thanks
     
  2. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    It is certainly possible. But, if they are there is typically some evidence (sticky nest boxes, little bit of yolk dried on the beak/comb), chickens are typically not the cleanest eaters.

    I have had a few egg eaters, and thankfully never had to put one down. To cure they I have used the golf ball technique. With a golf ball in the nest the hens will see that no mater how many times they peck it nothing is coming out. Shortly after they stop trying to eat the eggs.

    I also had a hen that was eating eggs, but I was unable to find her nest. In her own time she stopped.

    Finding the culprits and separating them from the rest of the flock until they stop eating eggs may be a good idea as it can stop the spreading of this habit.

    Some people have said that egg eating comes from lack of nutrients in the birds diet, which I suppose is true. But, you should be able to judge how healthy the birds are (feathers eyes.)

    Also, it is typical for the hens to eat the eggs after laid, so if she got eleven then she may not have a problem, or one hen is going in there and snacking later on. Sometimes it is a rooster that is doing the egg munching as well.

    Hope she manages to clear up this issue.
     
  3. PQ

    PQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Platina, Ca.
    I agree with above.
    Then contact opa for some roll away nest box plans.
    It worked for my egg eaters, now I'm getting a egg a day from each hen!
     
  4. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    Agreed, roll away nesting boxes would most likely help a lot. Also, making sure that the nesting boxes are full with straw/sawdust will help insure that the egg doesn't crack when it lands and turn into a chicken snack.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  5. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Vestal
    Thanks for all the help. After I posted my question I searched this sight for any articles on egg eating. I'm sorry I should have done that first.I like the idea of rollaway boxes and her husband is pretty handy.What is opa? Sorry for my ignorance.I'm glad to hear for her sake that there are solutions. Thanks guys.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  6. PQ

    PQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2009
    Platina, Ca.
    opa is a member check user list and pm him.
     
  7. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    This may not stop the whole problem because we all know chickens love eggs but what about trying to add osyter shell and more protein to there diet. This may stop or slow your problem. I have had it happen before and changed there diet up and I didn't have the problem anymore. IDK, something worth trying. Good luck with whatever you do.
     
  8. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Vestal
    The oyster shell idea is great. We discussed whether something is missing in their diet and I don't think she even considered Oyster shell. Thanks again
     

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