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egg eating hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kimt816, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. kimt816

    kimt816 Out Of The Brooder

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    is there a way to prevent hen(s) from pecking or eating their own eggs i went to collect eggs yesterday and three eggs were eaten out looks like they where pecked open on top and bottom all the eggs where in the same nest box and all other eggs in coop were ok .. also how do you deteremine who is the culprit i have 25 hens and can only collect after 5 when i get off work
     
  2. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Egg eating is a difficult though not impossible habit to break. If you are still getting eggs then the habit has not spread through out the coop yet & you've probably caught it in time. Make some changes in your coop or run to keep life more interesting for your birds. When I've had the problem crop up I change the coop around, move feeders & waterers, I also usually at least temporarily add extras as well. You could give them a bin with DE for dust bathing. The changes distract the birds and give their natural curiosity an outlet. It has been my experience that egg eating tends to begin with the bird's natural curiosity and progresses from there when one of them discovers how yummy what is in the egg is. If you look around this site you'll see ideas to keep your chickens entertained in ways other than egg eating. One thing I remember reading is that some folks hang produce for them to work at eating. One thing to remember is that the bird with the egg on it is likely to be the dominate chicken but not necessarily the one who initiates the egg breaking. Once an egg is broken then all the birds come running to steal what ever the first one is eating that they aren't.
     
  3. Mary Lou

    Mary Lou New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2009
    I have several chickens now that are eating eggs. I never had any problems with this till someone told me to feed my chickens crushed eggs shells, to help with their digestion. Once the chickens got to liking the egg shells then the egg eating started. Now I am trying to make the eggs not so flavorful to them by removing the egg from the shells and refilling the egg shells with salty mustard. So far it has caused the chickens to not seem too interested in the eggs but since I just started doing this a couple days ago I don't know if they will stop eating the eggs or not. I have learned never to give chickens any egg shells.
     
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    I get rid of egg eaters. I've never been able to break one, and I dont want them teaching the others...
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I had this same problem last December with new laying pullets. I was able to break them from egg eating by rearranging the coop to shake things up. Adding 5 gallon buckets as nests. Putting golf balls and stone eggs in the nests. And collecting as often as I could. It was fortunate that I was on vacation at the time. Others have suggested filling blown out eggs with mustard or horseradish. And adding more protein or calcium to their diet. Also I have heard of people adding curtains in front of the nests so the eggs weren't so visible and it is darker in the nests. Good Luck.

    Imp/Russ


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  6. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Filling eggs with mustard or any other hot stuff does not work because birds cannot taste 'hot' . A blown egg filled with mustard did, however, stop my border collie from eating eggs. [​IMG]
    Making the nest boxes very dark & if poss deep, can break egg eaters. Another way is roll away nest boxes. Hens being hens will forget that eggs taste good if they do not get the chance to eat an egg for a good while. We frequently feed our chickens crushed boiled eggs. As long as they are not recognisable they do not seem to make the connection. [​IMG]
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Maybe you can put some wooden eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes. I have heard of some people who have tried it.
     
  8. richErich

    richErich New Egg

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    Apr 7, 2009
    GOLF BALLS!
     
  9. crazyeggkat

    crazyeggkat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Nashua,Ia
    OK I had the same problem so what I did is made "fake eggs." I took golf balls or my hard wooden eggs about 6 in each nest which I only had 3 spots where they lay.Placed in there nests that way they couldn't break the eggs. It seems to work and now I have slowly removed the "fake eggs" give it a try that's what I read here when I started to have the problem,. Also I seen one of my EE hens actually doing it so I pulled her out of the pen and put her in with my yard bird pen and after about 2 months now she is laying her own eggs and leaving them alone!! So I might put her back.
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    The tried and true method to prevent egg eating is to cull the birds that are guilty. Once a few get the notion, the others in the flock will pick it up fast.

    Another way was to darken the nest and use plenty of cushioning litter. Egg eating has been traditionally seen as a function of mechanics, not conscious thought. Chickens is bright, open nests tend to move around and be kinda clumsy. This leads to broken eggs and once that happens, you're done.

    SO darken the nests with a curtain and make sure there are 4" of soft litter. Have a front board 4" tall and have the curtain reach down to within an inch of teh board. Use dark fabric and not some frilly, pattern. Black is fine.

    You may also wish to develop a roll away nesting process. This is another way to defeat the habit. This means the egg once laid, rolls into a space or under a cover where the chicken cannot reach it. Not hard to make, they can be effective. Just google the term "roll away nest."

    Lurid methods like hot sauce and golf balls, as much as we love such things, are limited in their scope. Birds dont taste "hot," as noted, and golf balls, well, maybe they work and maybe they dont.

    The way to stop it is nip it before it gets started.
     

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