Egg Eaters?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lavonne, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Lavonne

    Lavonne Out Of The Brooder

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    If a chicken eats an egg, won't their be evidence left - like shell, yolk, or something? My hens are just starting to lay, and I left an egg in the nest. When I went back, it was entirely gone but no shell or yolk anywhere. Did a chicken do it?
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    best coast
    Is there yolk on any of their faces?
     
  3. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    There is usually evidence left behind that a chicken pecked open a egg and ate it. They are not the cleanest eaters.
    Snake?
     
  4. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had the same thing happen, no evidence at all! They must have eaten it! Now, whenever I don't get the usual amount of eggs I wonder.
     
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I vote for the snake. Always bring in the eggs; a few times a day if possible but keep some gulf balls or wooden eggs in the boxes. You might get lucky and have a snake eat one of those and then it will be much easier to catch/kill. The only thing that can get in my coop is a med to small snake, but there is no way of it getting out if they swallow a wooden egg. It will get jammed.
    If it is the chickens, you have a bigger problem and there too, you need to go in the coop often and remove them, because the habbit needs to be broken.
    If that is the case, you might need to research some nesting boxes that are slanted and will allow the eggs to roll after being laid, so they will be safely put out of harms way, in a hen proof area. Its more scientific than down home country, but if they develope a taste for the eggs, it is not cool.
    Now you also might want to consider if your chickens have enough calcium. Get some crushed oyster shells and spread them around every month or so. I like to give them the shells when we eat crabs or crawfish. They munch on the hard shells and also get a bit of nourishment with what we leave behind; and you should see the egg color the next few days (almost red)....and the taste!! I'm not likely to want to sell eggs a few days after that.
    But really.....a clean nest, where you should have had an egg. I think you need to look for a snake's hidding place or make several trips to the coop a day. If your birds are closed in and don't have free-range, you might spread moth balls around. Or better still.....go through your sock drawer and find some ripped knee high stockings and put in a few moth-balls and hang them high in the nesting boxes, out of sight in the dark.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  6. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    Mine seem to only eat the soft shelled ones but they do tend to leave shreds of the shells and nothing else. They all go nuts as soon as one pecks one open. They devour it in seconds.
     
  7. raspeary

    raspeary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i had the same problem with eggs being pecked open. I think it was my buff orps doing it but can't tell for sure. I had someone here on the forum suggest taking two egg shells filling it with liquid soap and then sealing it with wax (I used candle wax,i held a lighter on the wax of a candle and let it drip over the egg) i also used a egg that was pecked open already. I took a tooth pick, made the hole a little bigger, dug out the egg yolk and white and let it drain, then pumped the egg full of liquid soap and sealed it up. I bought some of the dental wax they use for braces but haven't tried it yet. I put the egg in the open and it took them a week to peck it open and since then havent had a pecked open egg again.

    If you have non scented candles, it would probably be better. I didn't have any unscented and I think the scent was what made them take so long to do it.

    Try the soapy egg, it'll work.
     
  8. Lavonne

    Lavonne Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been checking the nests about three times a day - maybe more because they are just starting to lay. I left this egg on purpose to encourage them to use the nest - some had been using the floor. I had just cleaned the coop and checked a couple of hours later. The egg was just gone - no evidence of it ever being there. I will start putting a fake egg in the nest.

    They chickens are free range and the shells are really hard - to the point of being difficult to crack - so calcium is not a problem.

    I thought about rats, but we also have a "rat house" that has rat poison in the coop. It's maintained by exterminators once a month.

    So, maybe a snake is the culprit. Thanks for the information.
     

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