Egg Eating Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WAcowgirl, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. WAcowgirl

    WAcowgirl New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2013
    How do I stop my chickens from eating the eggs?
    I buy good food, supplement calcium, collect often.
    I have several hens that watch for other hens to lay and wait for her to leave or even run her out of the nest .
    Then the egg eating hens peck open the eggs, eat the contents and leave the shell.
    Help!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have two answers from reading BYC:

    Fill eggs with mustard (needle and syringe) as they don't like the taste.

    When all else fails, cull or sell them/give them away with disclosure.

    It spreads through a flock as they teach each other to do it.
     
  3. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Battle Ground, WA
    I have had good results using wooden fake eggs or golf balls, they try to eat those, give themselves a headache and stop. It's another option to try anyway but I have had birds that couldn't be stopped as well.
     
  4. WAcowgirl

    WAcowgirl New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Thank you for the suggestion,
    my chickens not only ate the mustard filled eggs but the mustard and cheyenne pepper filled eggs.
    I purchased ceramic eggs thinking this would hurt their beaks! the first day I got 13 eggs the next day they had figured that out and pushed some ceramic eggs out of the nests!
     
  5. WAcowgirl

    WAcowgirl New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2013
    I am going to try and build a set of nest boxes on a slight angle with a board just tall enough for the eggs to roll underneath out of reach of the chicks!
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh dear!
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh yes- I totally didn't think about recommending rollout nest boxes to you. That is truly a good idea. You might find plans on internet for that....
     
  8. NEChicken

    NEChicken New Egg

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    Mar 17, 2013
    We have a mixed flock of Copper Marens, EE's, Black Astrolorps, Barred Rocks and cross breeds, around 27 with 3 roo's in two separate pens. Last summer our egg count started going down and soon we were not getting any. Signs had emerged that they had started eating their eggs. We tried putting in oyster shell, checking the nests more often, etc. Nothing was working. We started talking about culling the whole batch and starting over, but they are a gorgeous flock with many blue and green egg layers so we hesitated. This fall I designed a rollaway nest box with a longer that usual roll out portion (in the past, I was not building them deep enough and the hens just stuck their heads under the separation and ate the eggs anyway. They quit laying before a good test could be run. This spring I put the nest boxes back in. Low and behold, 8 to 12 eggs a day. (We hope they are not all laying yet because it is still cold here and the light is not that much more.) I lined mine with thin outdoor carpeting with a bit of a catch curve at the end. We have a Buff that likes to lay standing up and we would regularly find a cracked egg, (possibly the reason they started eating them in the first place,) and the catch curve stops the egg gently at the end. The roll out portion has a heavy lid so they can't flip in open. The first day we installed the boxes, we got 10 eggs, no problem, and we quickly found out who the main culprits were because they would wait on the roosts or just outside the house until the hen got out of the nest. To their surprise, the egg was gone and they voiced their discontent, long and loud. I had secured a wooden egg in one of the boxes to entice them to go into the box and not lay in the corners as before. All seems to be working well for both halves of the flock. If you're interested in my design, I am happy to share it with you. The box is out of 3/4" ply. All you will need is a drill, a skill saw, a jig saw, some drywall screws, thin outdoor carpet and flat thumb tacks to help hold the carpet flat. Total size: 28 3/4" long 16" high 12 1/2" deep. Nest box: 16" high, 14" wide, 12 1/2" deep with an 11 5/8" wide 10" tall opening. Roll out box go's from 5 3/4" to 4 5/8" tall, 14 3/4" long and 12 1/2" wide. You may be able to tell that the roll out box comes out the side of the nest box. I just made a hard board template out of 1/4" masonite for repeatability so I just flip it over to make it left or right hand. The slope inside the box is 3 degrees. It look severe at first, but I found that the hens tend to turn their butts toward the down slope, thus dropping the eggs closer to the exit slot (which is 2 1/4" high.) I hope this saves the lives of many a good looking chicken.
     
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