egg eater!

henhouse1012

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2016
16
0
24
Hello everyone! One of my barred rocks 23 weeks old is eating eggs at some point in the day. She has a balanced diet (organic pellet layer), plenty of room with the other girls. My question is if I re-home her to a new owner (coop) will this behavior vanish with the new habitat? Or once an egg eater always an egg eater?

Thanks!
Mike
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Hoppy Spring 🐇
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 16, 2015
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It depends on why she's eating eggs and how long she's been doing it. Deficiencies in protein and calcium, and boredom are the main reasons, as well as a poor nestbox set up can contribute to it.
 

jpalmatier83

Chirping
Jul 15, 2016
152
16
91
Traverse City, MI
In addition to oldhenlikesdogs's thoughts, at 23 weeks she may have just started out of curiosity when the chickens started to lay. Something new (the egg), maybe we should peck at it, holy cow this thing tastes good.

I never had a true egg eater, but when my gals started laying I had a few eggs with holes poked in them. I believe more from curiosity than a true desire to eat them. I started to make sure I collected early and often and they just got out of the habit after a couple days.

If it's gone beyond that, something to try before rehoming. Take an egg, pole pinholes in each end and blow out the egg. Fill the empty (still egg shaped) shell with yellow mustard. Apparently chickens hate it and doing this a couple times may very well break even an established egg eater of the habit.
 

jpalmatier83

Chirping
Jul 15, 2016
152
16
91
Traverse City, MI
Just noticed one other thing. Layer feed has a lower (~16%) amount of protein than a grower/all-flock (~20%). She may be going after the eggs for additional protein. Many people feed an all flock with oyster shell optionally for birds of all ages. It may be helpful if you go back to a higher protein diet...
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Hoppy Spring 🐇
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Just noticed one other thing. Layer feed has a lower (~16%) amount of protein than a grower/all-flock (~20%). She may be going after the eggs for additional protein. Many people feed an all flock with oyster shell optionally for birds of all ages. It may be helpful if you go back to a higher protein diet...
Definitely, I no longer feed layer either.
 

henhouse1012

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2016
16
0
24
The feed is 16% protein, I supply oyster shell in separate feeder. The girls get watermelon, apples, cantaloupe, raspberry pretty much every fruit. Even eat meat off the bone. She doesn't do it every day 3-4 times a week. I think it's a boredom thing. If i do rehome her will this behavior continue or will she kinda da forget about it with a new environment?
Thanks for the reply everyone!
 

jpalmatier83

Chirping
Jul 15, 2016
152
16
91
Traverse City, MI
Any idea why she'd be bored 3-4 times a week? And that said, for how many weeks has this gone on?

Others may correct me, but if it's occasionally, I'd think dietary. Especially if she's on 16%. The vast majority of the treats you mention are primarily carb/sugar. Maybe supply some higher protein and fat treats and see if that helps.

Unless there are major deviations in her day to day routine, I would think if it were boredom it would be more consistent. unless there's something obvious like you letting them out to free range on the days that she doesn't eat the eggs my best guess is that sporadic egg eating would be dietary.
 

henhouse1012

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2016
16
0
24
When it's hot she seems to lay low. But when it's comfortable out she never stops moving. Kind of an add thing. Young and full of energy compared to the other girls. It's been happening for about 4 weeks. I'll try more protein first
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
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When it's hot she seems to lay low. But when it's comfortable out she never stops moving. Kind of an add thing. Young and full of energy compared to the other girls. It's been happening for about 4 weeks. I'll try more protein first
Definitely, more protein......or totally cut out the fruits and other foods.

Might also put some fake eggs in nests too, that can help.
Curtains on nest fronts can help too.

How much room(feet by feet) is 'plenty of room' with how many other girls?
Lots of variety in coop and/or run, things to climb on and under, deep litter to dig in, can help alleviate boredom.
 
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