Egg Eater???

bcmama

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2012
329
13
141
My Coop
My Coop
I have what I think is a new problem. I think my hens are eating their eggs, at least one a day. I am finding egg yolk constantly on the other eggs in the nest. I thought I was dealing with a soft egg layer as I have seen my silkie lay a soft egg and then puncture it so I started feeding oyster shell.

Now today I went to the nest and collected eggs with yolk on them and found a brown egg shell piece on them which would come from one of my barred rocks.

What could be causing this? Any ideas?
 

bcmama

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2012
329
13
141
My Coop
My Coop
They are eating 16% protein layer crumbles, scratch with oyster shell mixed in and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I will try and make the nests darker. I wonder if the soft egg situation started a bad habit?
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
620
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
They are eating 16% protein layer crumbles, scratch with oyster shell mixed in and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I will try and make the nests darker. I wonder if the soft egg situation started a bad habit?
OK if it were me, I'd stop all treats and just feed your layer crumbles with oyster shell on the side. See if that will solve the problem for a week or so, and if it doesn't then you may want to go the mustard route.

All hens will egg eat when there is a soft-shelled egg.

It does become a habit, and they teach each other. However, I must tell you that I was convinced I had a problem with this at one time a few years back. I was ready to get rid of a group of chickens I knew were egg eating. But I delayed my decision and then the problem stopped all of a sudden.

If there is only one chicken doing it, some will cull fast and get her out of there before she teaches the rest of them. If there have been soft shelled eggs though, you can't blame them as that is a natural response when they see/peck what they perceive as something good there. This is the reason for the golf balls in the nest...to teach them there is no reward for pecking an egg.

The broken eggshells though are bad...so I'd switch the diet pronto. You can even switch them to unmedicated chick starter or Flock Raiser which should be 20% protein (layer is usually 16%) if you think they need more protein temporarily. Eggs are protein. But be sure to have that oyster shell there for them, as those feeds will not contain enough calcium for them.

So by increasing their protein by stopping the scratch/treats, I am hoping that they will not be as interested in a high-protein treat. I don't know if it will work or not.
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
620
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
No veggies also?
Hmm that is up to you of course.

I personally have noticed that when I go overboard on treats my egg numbers fall. (It takes protein in diet to make eggs).

But of course you don't want them to miss out on vitamins in the fruit and veg. for very long!

What I was mentioning was a test for a week to see if this could be nipped in the bud...a dietary test of sorts. But of course it may not work. I was hoping their calcium intake would be improved as well, eating only layer (which has calcium in it).

Chicken keeping is a personal thing and what works for one may not work for another.


Hopefully you get some more responses as well, with more ideas to consider.
 
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