Egg eaters!!! Help!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shan30, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We added 7 new hens to our flock about a month ago, bringing the total to thirty.

    When we first integrated the two flocks our egg count went from 15ish a day to ten. I caught one of the new ones eating an egg and placed golf balls in the nests but figured the decrease was mostly from stress.

    Now we are down to 7 or 8 a day and always a few have yolk on them leading me to believe we adopted a bunch of egg eaters.

    I'm not sure what to do about it. I thought about quarantining the new birds for a few days to see if the numbers come back up but don't really have a large enough area to do this. Also somewhat worried that they may have taught the others.

    I know it sounds stupid but these girls had a really crappy home before we took them and I feel aweful about the possibility of getting rid of them. But we sell eggs and seven eggs from thirty hens doesn't even cover the food costs.

    Any suggestions would be great!
     
  2. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same experience. The hens I adopted came from a very neglectful home, and had learned eggs were food when there wasn't any. When I got them they ate the eggs from my other hens. I left layer pellets out ALL the time, thinking if they had food available they wouldn't eat eggs. I finally had the main culprit for dinner, and have less issues. Maybe separate them off a couple at a time until you pin down the main one? My issues came from two hens, but when I got rid of the one that did the egg breaking, the other gave up.
     
  3. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I'm afraid that's what I'm going to have to do, I'm pretty sure I know who the ring leader is which is to bad cuz she's the prettiest!

    My fear is that they are all doing it. Wondered if I could maybe just put an egg on the floor and see who goes for it.

    We both work some serious hours so we dont get to see what happens most of the time.

    How did you catch yours? And do you think there's any hope for the fake eggs and mustard egg plans?
     
  4. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ive got an idea.... you know that stuff they paint on little kids fingers so they stop sucking thier thumbs? You paint it on and it contains bitrex so it tastes HORRIBLE. Well,,, could you paint it on a few real eggs so that they get a really awful taste when they eat the eggs? I would be cautious about eatin gthier eggs the next day.... you might taste it coming through...
     
  5. Spikes Chooks

    Spikes Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can also make roll away nest boxes so they can't get at the eggs. Do a search for it here on the forum - there's great photos and explanations from a post by Opa. Saves having to get rid of any chickens!
     
  6. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately this can be a taught behavior so by now the original culprits may well have taught others in your flock. Part of the problem with egg eating is they may have started due to nutritional needs but have since discovered eggs are yummy treats. One thing that might help is increasing the protein in their feed. But wrt the "tricks" like golf balls, pepper sauce, etc, my personal experience is skip them, they probably won't work, and just build some roll out nest boxes. They're pretty easy to build and work really well to solve the problem.
     
  7. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We must have been typing at the same time! :). Opa's boxes are great, and his posts will have all the info you need regarding dimensions, ramp angle, etc. if you aren't a carpenter, don't be intimidated, chickens don't care if its pretty.
     
  8. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone :)

    I thought about the yucky tasting stuff, they sell something similar
    here to stop the chickies from pecking each other and figured that might
    do the trick.

    I'll definetly take a look at the roll away boxes too, maybe I can convert what I already have..

    Well thanks for all the suggestions everyone :)
     
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