egg eaters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spooklaw, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. spooklaw

    spooklaw Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2010
    i moved ,had to keep chickens in an outside garage temporarly and some of my chickens started eating their eggs, i know it is at least one red sexlink hen and my rooster. how do you stop this
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If they consistently lay in nests, rollaway nests may be a good solution. This is a difficult habit to break. There are lots of threads on here about the problem.
     
  3. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    If this just started, separate the egg eaters immediately from the others before they teach the rest to also eat eggs.

    Do your red sex links have thinner shells that break easily? Mine did, even though the Easter Eggers had shells like rocks on the same diet. The broken eggs attracted their attention and they learned they were good to eat. I think they lay so frequently, their body metabolism can't keep up with the calcium requirements. Lightly baking to sterilize and then grinding their own eggshells and feeding them back to them helps supply the calcium already in the form they need.

    Very frustrating problem, I know.

    For my new flock I'm starting over, I'm going to have the roll-away nests built before they start laying. And be diligent about cleaning up the tiny first eggs and shell less eggs.

    No way to "unlearn" them of this. Better to prevent it from happening. I'm also going to take lots of real eggs and fill them with wax and leave them in the nests, so their exploratory pecks find cold wax (no reward) and hopefully they'll think that means all eggs are filled with cold wax. The wooden eggs didn't work - they knew the difference. The old tales of mustard, hot sauce didn't work for me at all.

    It took a lot of my time to go out to get each egg every time I heard the egg song. Won't do that again. I ended up spending a lot of time out in the coop watching them to find out what was going on. Very dismal to see a hen lay an egg, stand up, turn around, peck it open and eat it all including the shell and leave no trace in the nest and no trace on her beak for face. What was worse once, was seeing a hen go in the milk crate to lay her egg and three hens come over and perch on the sides of the crate waiting, and attacked her egg as soon as it was laid.

    Do a search here on BYC for "Opa's roll-away nests" - he has pictures and measurements and everything all worked out - like the slant required, the little flap to hide the egg, the 10" wide space for the egg rest needed to keep them from reaching under the flap, to paint the nest box inside a dark color, the kind of footing pad, the foam bumper for the egg shelf, -- its great.
     

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