Egg Eating Flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mrhein, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Mrhein

    Mrhein Chirping

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    What do you do about egg eating chickens? I put the mustard egg in this morning and they ate the thing eggshell and all. Then while I was standing in the run inspecting them for mustard face, a hen layer an egg from the one of the roosting branches in the run and nearly the whole flock immediately jumped on it. I tried to push them away and the shell was already gone and only a few bits were left. I thought I was dealing with one but apparently it’s many. What do I do?
     
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  2. pibb

    pibb Songster

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    Would several of those fake eggs in the nest eventually make them quit? If they cant break them, maybe they would quit after time. Just keep the real eggs picked out. This is just an idea and I don't know if this would actually work or not
     
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  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    Welcome!
    Any already broken egg will be fair game for everyone, and egg eating can be a learned behavior out there.
    You could shoot them all... Or work to manage this miserable situation.
    Roll away nest boxes will keep them from getting to their eggs, and I think there are do it yourself directions here somewhere.
    Management issues that can impact this behavior:
    Close confinement and boredom. How many birds and how big is the coop?
    Diet, especially unbalanced or low protein. What are they eating?
    One rotten hen can start this whole thing, and removing her may help, unless everyone else is already committed to fresh egg eating.
    Mary
     
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  4. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    @Mrhein
    Mary @Folly's place has asked some good and important questions.
    Please answer them, especially what all and how exactly you are feeding.

    ..and are they eating eggs in the nests too...or just ones on the ground?
    Pics and dimensions of your coop, run, and nests would help here.
    Also how many birds total do you have.
     
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  6. Mrhein

    Mrhein Chirping

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    Jul 15, 2015
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    I have 16 birds in a 8x8 coop with a 15x8 run. 6 nesting boxes. I find the wet spots in the nesting boxes from the eaten eggs but I witnessed a bird lay an egg from the run roost and the birds jumped at it as soon as it hit the ground. Nesting boxes are 12x12x12.
     

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  7. Mrhein

    Mrhein Chirping

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    Jul 15, 2015
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    I feed them a combination of scratch grains, egge layer protein, pulverized shells, kitchen scraps and garden greens. I also add leaf litter from the yard cleanup and dried worms every now and then.
     
  8. Mrhein

    Mrhein Chirping

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    I have wooden eggs currently but have ordered ceramic for each box thinking third might help. We shall see.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    At what ratios?
    Is the layer feed 16% protein?
    Are all your birds the same age?

    That's a very cool coop!
    Is the dormer open for ventilation?
    Isolation area under the roosts is, and maybe nests are, taking up some of your 8x8 space. Run is kinda small too.

    Egg eating is often due to crowding and/or diet....but can become a habit.
     
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  10. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

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    We have had some egg eating occur here, but not quite to the extent you describe. When It happens, each nest box gets fake eggs, and the favorite box gets many fake eggs. The more eggs they peck and don't break, the better! We bought wood eggs this last time...actually had ceramic ones break, and the wood ones are not quite the exact shade of real eggs, so easier to disregard when collecting real eggs. In fact, the ceramic ones look so real we had to use paint markers to write “fake” on the eggs, and a few designs so we could distinguish them.

    the chickens really love eggs...one day collected one egg and was standing in The run (egg in hand) talking to my kid. I wasn’t paying attention to the chickens and my hand was by my side. All of a sudden a chicken jumped up and pecked the egg (and got my hand a bit) causing me to startle and drop the egg, which promptly broke. The chickens converged on it. But, other days we sometimes find an egg that was laid in the run...untouched, not pecked or broken, just waiting to be collected.

    nice coop! Very attractive. Good luck with getting the egg eating stopped.
     

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