Egg eater or just testing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by camjac, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    119
    Jun 22, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    I got my very first egg yesterday, a very tasty small brown egg and layed in the nest box too! I checked them first thing this morning and there was nothing. Around noon I went out and found a small pinkish brown (very light) egg on the ground in front of the pop door. It had three peck marks in it. Does this mean I have an egg eater (there was nothing missing just three small holes)? Does an egg eater eat the contents of the egg or are my chicks just curious as to what someone left in the coop?
     
  2. EliteTempleton

    EliteTempleton Chillin' With My Peeps

    304
    0
    119
    Aug 9, 2008
    SW MI
    I'm not experienced enough to answer your question directly, but if the egg is cracked they will eat them to avoid attracting predators. Or so I hear(read). Maybe it was cracked?
     
  3. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    119
    Jun 22, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    No, it had three distinct peck marks in it. But the yolk and the white were all still inside. I am going to start checking the coop every hour or two to see if I can catch and egg that was just laid and stop anything before it starts. Since I am new to all of this, I have read about egg eaters and that you have to cull them to get them to stop. Since I only have 5 chickens I really don't want to do this and will keep a good eye on them so I can stop any bad behavior, if possible. Actually, I am headed out there now to see if I got any more "presents"!
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    It's real encouraging that at least one pullet is using the nestbox. An egg on the floor is just not "right."

    New layers seem to have a problem knowing where and when this egg-laying will occur. They can also start this floor-thing later in life.

    It isn't good because something on the floor must be seen thru chicken eyes as either part of the landscape or something to eat. Your bird laying in the nest is probably not the one laying on the floor and perhaps soon, the other will follow suit [​IMG].

    You can encourage this by placing the pullets quietly & gently into the nests. They need to realize what a wonderful place the nest is - quiet, safe [​IMG].

    An egg in the nest is far more likely to be treated as a "sacred" object than an egg on the floor. They will scratch around in there a lot as young layers. Therefore, an egg may end up being shot out of the nest. I don't think the birds are doing this intentionally. They are probably just trying to get comfortable. Using a golf ball may be better as a "nest egg" than a real egg.

    Stay at it - every time the opportunity presents itself lift a bird into a nest. This is also a good way to learn who is weeks away from laying - they'll probably just hop right out but the others will stay in there awhile. Your attention will be rewarded [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  5. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    119
    Jun 22, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    Thanks digitS'! That is great information! I have 2 golfballs in each of the 3 nests and they have all been going in the nest for about a week and checking things out. They don't stay for very long, maybe a couple of minutes at a time but they are going in!![​IMG]

    Is it possible that this egg just kind of "fell out" because it is probably her first egg? [​IMG]

    My standard light brahma actually got in the nest this morning and got herself comfortable and laid down for about 3-4 minutes. When she got up I checked for an egg but there was nothing. Does this mean she might be getting ready to lay?

    I have the light brahma, 2 black australorps (one with very bright red comb and wattles that I think laid the egg yesterday, and one that has about half the red comb and wattles of the other), and two easter eggers. I think that the egg today may have come from one easter egger because it was that pale pink color and I have read that they can lay blue, green and pink eggs.

    I have to say this is the most exciting thing! I can't wait to go out there a couple of times a day to check on them! I was always afraid my DH (who does none of the chicken chores) would go out there one time and find the first egg and I would be [​IMG]! He actually went out Sunday night because I was not home before dark and checked them. One day later and he would have had the first egg!
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    That's a very good sign for your Light Brahma. She probably didn't lay the one on the floor.

    I've had Australorps again and again over the years. They are the ones I know will suddenly "unlearn" where to lay an egg. I'm inclined to say that the LB is too smart for that kind of behavior.

    However . . . for a number of reasons, the Australorp is my favorite layer.

    (Don't tell anybody but one or two were also egg eaters. I had too work a little to break them of that nasty habit . . . [​IMG])

    Steve
     
  7. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    i found one in the nest box one day early on with a peck in it. I figured who ever was next didnt want it there but they never did it again.
     
  8. texaschick-a-dee

    texaschick-a-dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    0
    109
    Dec 8, 2008
    Texas coast
    When my newest batch of chickens started laying I found some with peck marks but none of them ever became egg eaters. I just dismissed it as curiousity.
     
  9. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    119
    Jun 22, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    That's great news! I was hoping that it was just a curiosity thing! But I will be keeping a close eye on them until it either does not happen again or everyone starts laying in the nest box! DigitS'- I do like my australorps. So far they are the most friendly of my little bunch. My brahma is nice but sort of aloof! I am actually going out to check them now to see if anyone else left anything!
     
  10. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    119
    Jun 22, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    Nope, nothing else yet today! When they first start to lay, will they lay about the same time each day or is it every other day or once in a while until they get the works in gear? I am not sure if it should be the same chicken every day!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by