Egg Eaters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 12animals3, May 2, 2017.

  1. 12animals3

    12animals3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2017
    At the end of March, my chickens started eating eggs. At first I put golf balls in their nesting boxes, but it kept going.
    I found the 2 hens (out of my 7 chickens) that were doing it and put them in a cage so the habit wouldn't pass to others.
    They kept on eating their own eggs whenever laid. I tried mustard and dish soap eggs, but they still ate every egg in sight.
    I put in ceramic eggs that were their egg colors, and then put on pinless peepers. When none of those things worked,
    I tried mustard/cayenne pepper eggs (I am getting really desperate!) and they are STILL eating their eggs.
    I don't want to make a roll-out nesting box because I'm super busy and just barely made a big addition to their coop.
    Also, I'm VERY attached to my chickens and letting them go or culling is out of the question.
    I know that there isn't much left for you to work with, but I thought maybe I could get some help...Thank you so much!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Try upping the protein content of their feed. What are you feeding them?

    Egg eating is usually from a protein or calcium deficiency, or both.

    Switch to a higher protein ration. Feed them higher protein treats like scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, canned fish, and cut out other extras.

    Put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for calcium. Than wait a few weeks and hopefully it will stop.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you quite sure it is the chickens and not rats or jackdaws etc, both of which I'm having a problem with eating eggs at the moment?
    Another possibility is that the shell quality is poor and the eggs are accidentally getting broken and are then fair game to be eaten. Increasing calcium intake could help with that. If you know that they are definitely deliberately breaking open and eating their own eggs, then it is often out of boredom or lack of protein. Once it becomes a habit unfortunately it is hard to break even when protein has been increased and more diversions are provided and roll out nests are probably the only solution.

    The only other easy thing you could try is making the nest box as dark as possible with curtains. Something as simple as a feed bag stapled over the front of the nest box should do.

    I wish you luck sorting it out.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  4. 12animals3

    12animals3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks both of you! I already am feeding them oyster shells and their eggs are strong,
    but I'll try the extra protein and curtains. Thanks again!
     
  5. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel your pain! All of a sudden one of my birds is pecking open eggs. She is not eating them, just breaking the shell open. I have been cooking the eggs and feeding them to my dog, so at least they are not going to waste.
    Nothing has changed in their lives, so I have no idea why this problem as started.
    They free range all day. I was feeding a 16% layer feed and now switched to an 18% layer feed. I filled two shells with mustard and will have to see if that helps. This weekend I will add curtains and see if that helps.
    I wish I knew who was doing it and why all of a sudden.[​IMG]
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Are you sure it isn't toe nail pokes? Which are circular holes.
     
  7. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Here is a picture of the shell from today. The last few looked the same just smaller.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Yeah that's from them pecking and eating them, not toe nails. How long have they been on the higher protein feed?
     
  9. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started the 18% feed yesterday. I am trying to get the local feed store to order me in some Country Feeds egg producer that is 21% protein and formulated for free range birds.
    What seems strange to me is nothing has changed that I can tell.
    They went from laying 7 out of 8 eggs a day, to 3 or 4 and this egg picking problem. The eggs is still in the shell, so nobody is actually eating the egg.
    I have a 5 yr old BR who lays once in a while, I don't count her in my production numbers.
    This group has been together since Jan.
    I have filled two eggs with mustard and they both disappeared. No trace of them. I have ordered wooden eggs and they will be here tomorrow. This weekend I will put curtains up.
    I work full time so I can't pickup eggs through out the day.
    If I catch her, she is going to be in big trouble!
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    How long have they been laying, and what breeds? Higher production hens seem to reach a point where they become deficient in protein. It seems to happen between 1-2 years of age. This time of year laying is at it's highest, and eggs are pretty much all protein so they need enough in their diet or else they will start to crave it and than go looking for a source of it. Eggs are perfect source.
     

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