Egg eaters!

AlaskaGrown

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
52
1
81
I noticed a wet spot in the coop last week... on two occasions. This morning I went into the coop to collect eggs and found a hen eating an egg. Trouble is there were three hens in the coop while this was happening. I chased the three out of the coop and confirmed that they had in fact eaten an egg. I then sat in a lawn chair for the next 20-30 minutes to see if any returned. All three went back in during that time. A short time after a hen went in to lay, one of the three guilty parties seemed to be cruising every nesting box for a treat...or so I thought. A short while later the hen nestled down to lay...

What in the world do I do...

I was thinking of culling the known culprit, a small 2yr old orpington who had yolk running down her beak when I caught the three initially...

Any insight would be great.
 
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subhanalah

Crowing
5 Years
You can try porcelain eggs or golf balls to give a sore beak as well as real egg shells emptied and filled with mustard.

If neither of these things help, cull, it may have already spread to other chickens.

Get this thing before it gets out of control, lol.
 
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DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
Wood eggs do good sometimes. Basically fake eggs to make them think it isn't so tasty, and eventually they'll get tired of it. Also collect your eggs as soon as their laid. Or cull.
 

AlaskaGrown

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
52
1
81
You can try porcelain eggs or golf balls to give a sore beak as well as real egg shells emptied and filled with mustard.

If neither of these things help, cull, it may have already spread to other chickens.

Get this thing before it gets out of control, lol.
How long would you say before this thing gets out of control? My wife and I work during the week and only free range the hens at night and on the weekends. With all of them in the coop and chicken run it could get nasty pretty quick...
 

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
How many hens do you have? It's kind of exponential. Once other hens see that one doing it, they're going to try it out. It's just the way hens work.
 

AlaskaGrown

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
52
1
81
We have 8 hens between 10 months and 2 years. We are getting another 4 hens this week who are all between 1 and 2 years old.

I caught one with her head in a nesting box eating an egg with 2 onlookers. I threw some golf balls in the nesting boxes, but noticed that another egg had been eaten today...
 

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
It seems like it may already be a problem. You can try the golfing balls and see if they work, but if they don't, it looks like you're going to have to cull.
 

AlaskaGrown

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
52
1
81
Just spit balling here... What if I were to free range 7 of the 8 chickens and lock the remaining hen in the coop...throw an egg or two in the nesting boxes and see how it plays out...I know of three potential culprits and I am pretty certain that the hamburgs and the black sex link have nothing to do with the egg eating. That leaves 5 hens...

It may sound a little medieval, but through the process of elimination I should be able to pluck the hens from the flock who are eating all the eggs.
 

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
It seems like it might be able to work, but then again, if you stress the hen out, it may not eat the eggs either. But I guess you could always try it, doesn't seem like anything will go wrong with it.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,343
26,958
982
On the MN prairie.
Before you decide to cull any of them, try giving extra calcium. Free choice oyster shell or crushed egg shells (no, this will not make the egg eating worse). This has worked for me. I'm not saying it will cure every egg eater, but it might be worth a shot if you're willing to try it.
 
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