Egg eaters, to the extreme.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Andora, May 30, 2010.

  1. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Over the past week I've noticed a serious drop in egg production. I went from 15-20 eggs a day to 2-3 eggs.

    I found a half eaten egg in the coop the other day, so yesterday I decided to to an experiment. I left all of the eggs in the coop and didn't collect--I counted 18 eggs yesterday afternoon.

    This morning I opened the coop doors and guess how many eggs were in the nest boxes?

    ZERO.

    Stupid birds ate every single egg, there isn't a sign of egg left. It looks like they just never laid any.

    [​IMG]

    What do I do?? I have no idea who is eating the eggs, but I suspect by now they have all caught on because one chicken couldn't eat 18 eggs by herself...

    I'm so angry at them! They have plenty of food, lots of healthy scraps, etc. It's not like they are starving or deficient...
     
  2. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Id start over. Id sell that flock at auction, and get some new ones. I know a lot of people would rather work with their birds to try to correct the issue, but it sounds like you've got some serious egg eaters there. Id start over, but thats just me.
     
  3. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Wow, you may want to look into the rollaway nest boxes. I believe Opa is one bycer to ask, maybe pm him for a nest box plan? That's horrible and I think that's a common fear of any chicken owner. My deepest sympathies!!
     
  4. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I'm sort of attached to some of them as pets. [​IMG] But then again keeping an entire flock of egg eating chickens isn't appealing either. *sigh*

    We just penned them up last week, they had been mostly free range before that. I guess they got bored...

    At least my other coop of chickens doesn't eat their eggs, but still all of those eggs gone...that's a lot of egg loss. I can't believe they are doing this!!
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Got snakes? We have caught yellow rat snake with as many as 5 eggs swallowed. Check the hens, too, just in case. The culprit(s) will usually have egg on their faces!
    ETA, egg eating hens will usually leave bits of shell around.

    Opa has a whole thread with plans, pics and detailed instructions for rollout nest boxes, link below.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=287684
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I'm thinking that it wasn't your hens. Especially due to this part
    At least my other coop of chickens doesn't eat their eggs, but still all of those eggs gone...that's a lot of egg loss. I can't believe they are doing this!!

    When mine have occasionally eaten an egg, I would find smushed up shell here or there (even though they eat cooked shells that I feed them)​
     
  7. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I just went out in the coop to look for broken egg evidence. I didn't see any shell, but I did find yellow goop in the shavings under the nest box...a lot of it. That must be from the busted eggs.

    I don't think anything could get into their coop over night, it's up off the ground and totally predator proof! I'll look into the roll away nest boxes. I wish I could design a nest box where the egg falls right through a secret trap door, magically without breaking, into a collection box below. [​IMG]
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:That's exactly what the roll away nest boxes do. I had an egg-eater, narrowed it down to one of two hens, don't know which one was the culprit. There was USUALLY no evidence of there having been an egg there at all, although one day I did find some yolky shell bits.

    The rollaway egg nest box has been fairly successful. I built one into my new coop. Some of the girls still lay in the nest boxes of the other coops, where they were used to laying 'em, but I also started to put oyster shell out for them (in addition to their layer feed).

    Now I get the number of eggs I "should" from my small laying flock.
     

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