Egg-Eating and Metabolic Disorder?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EiGuy, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. EiGuy

    EiGuy Hatching

    Jul 11, 2010
    For a couple of months I was plagued with gathering eggs bearing the obvious remnants of one or more eggs which had been eaten in the nesting box. Eventually I began to suspect this one hen; when I would come home after work to gather the eggs, I would first toss some goodies over the fence of their run. All of the girls would eagerly gobble them up, except that this one would see me head into the coop and come running, frantically scarfing up the feed as I scooped it into the feeder. I thought this was strange.

    Last weekend, I went out earlier than normal to gather eggs. There was a half-eaten egg in the nest. As I started to scoop in the feed, here came the suspect - caught her yolk-beaked!

    There is no excuse for calcium deficiency here; they are supplied with oyster shell at all times and fed expensive layer ration in addition to whatever else they get. I suspect that she had some metabolic disorder which caused the egg-eating behaviour. I am not a veterinarian, and she was at least 4 years old; suffice it to say that she is no longer a member of the flock.

    Someone told me that sometimes egg-eating will be taught by one bird to the rest. Fortunately this does not seem to have been the case, as I have had nothing but clean eggs since that incident.

    Just curious if anyone has any knowledge about this sort of thing?

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I haven't been plagued with egg eaters *thank goodness and knock on wood*. I do know that it's next to impossible to break an egg eating bird. Culling her may be the only way.
    At any rate, I wanted to give your thread a bump before it gets lost on page 2. Hopefully you'll get some more helpful answers. Good luck to you. [​IMG]
  3. E.G.Glayer

    E.G.Glayer Songster

    Jan 29, 2009
    Blanchester OH
    Had some egg eaters several years back and had to invest in a rollout nest box. That took care of the end result but not the root cause. If you know who it is, you should cull her now. I had a bunch of white leghorns at the time and it just wasnt cost effective to get rid of them all and start over but the rollout nest boxes took care of it.

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