Egg Eating is about to drive us bonkers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nflchickengirl, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. nflchickengirl

    nflchickengirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    We have six 11 month old hens in one coop and we had recently had an egg break (I'm guessing) from lack of bedding in the nesting box necause one hen decided she doesnt like hay and kicks it all out...and suddenly ALL of them in that coop are eating every single egg. They are on Purina Layena Pellets (usually the one with oyster and omega 3s added), plus a probiotic mixture with other vitamins and minerals with oyster shells in it (I want to say its called Super Layer pellets? We get it at TSC, small bag around $17?). They get plenty of fresh water and free range for a good 5 hours a day. I usually go to collect eggs 3 times a day but I am either finding nothing or finding them all covered in egg yolk on their faces for about 2 weeks now. I thought I had the two major culprits and isolated them for a day, tried filling fake easter eggs with mustard, and tried "waiting as soon as they lay and collect" method..but that got old fast [​IMG] especially with a toddler around and lots of homework for myself (yay for college degrees and parenting! ) . What else can we do? I am hardly even able to collect the egg from the one who is laying before they are all attacking the egg (like mid drop from chicken!) if I am out there.

    We have 3 other hens in another coop and have zero issues, same set up and same feed. But now I have six viscious egg eaters in one coop and it's to the point we are ready to make stew and start that flock over. [​IMG] They are eating up our profits over there !
     
  2. AsbillPoultry

    AsbillPoultry Just Hatched

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    May 23, 2016
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    We had this same problem a while back with some of our hens. We placed a couple golf balls in our nests. It took about a month, but eventually the hens got tired of pecking at plastic and just quit all together.
     
  3. angelmist

    angelmist New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2017
    Lapine, oregon
    My older chickens throw their hay but not their eggs. Also I found that feeding them the egg shells helps their eggs have stronger shells. My father feeds eggs to his chickens that's who I got 2 of my chickens from and they are really good at not eating the ones they lay. They only eat the ones given to them. Maybe that will help you out.also if you know when they lay check and make sure they have payed and grab the ones you want and crack the rest for them. Might help you out. My chickens lay noon to early evening. I check on them every two to three hours. So they can get used to me.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Could be your hens are craving more protein. Try switching to a higher protein ration than layer, 18-22%, and maybe adding some higher protein treats like scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, or canned fish. Adding fake ceramic eggs can help as they can't peck them and will often stop trying.
     
  5. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had the same problem with our flock and I tried a few things. I did switch them to a "feather fixer" food that had higher protein. I added extra bedding to the nest boxes. But mainly, I got several fake eggs. The more the better, so that the odds of a chicken pecking a fake egg instead of a real one were good. I think I had 8 fakes. And of course picking the real eggs up more often. When my hens went into a molt in the fall and stopped laying eggs, I left the fakes there, and that seemed to finally cure them - having all fake eggs around and no real ones.The other possibility is that my cleverest hen died. She might have been the ring leader of the egg eating. So there might be something to be said for trying to see who is starting it - maybe it's just one hen who is actually opening the eggs, and the others are joining in after the fact. You could try isolating them one by one and see if the egg eating stops or decreases.

    But there is hope. I have the same flock (minus the one) and I never have eggs eaten now. Good luck, it's a pain!
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Hello...Most egg eating problems are caused from inadequate diet...Shorten the free range hours to only two hours a day...Feed a higher protein feed no lower than 18%....Give no snack or scraps daily...Darken the Coop and cover the nest boxes with curtains ...Collect the eggs more often ....

    Once it becomes a real habit it is almost impossible to break.... :(


    Best of luck...

    Cheers!
     
  7. peaceisgreen

    peaceisgreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2017
    michigan
    I agree with Sarah i think this behavioral if diet is adequate they will do it because they like to or were "taught" to get lots of fake eggs(two or three per chicken) and put them in the nest boxes where they lay and of course gather your eggs at least twice a day
    it will take time and a little luck for them to think they can longer break open their eggs
    good luck and have patience:)
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    What breed of Chicken do you have?.....If Hybrid layers they require 18 % layer or they can suffer from early burn out after 3 months of laying....eating eggs and picking are symptoms of inadequate diet....


    Cheers!
     
  9. angelmist

    angelmist New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2017
    Lapine, oregon
    My chickens do not eat the laid eggs. But as soon as you crack one that has broke or give the the egg shells they love it and it will help keep them from eating their laid eggs. I have two over a year and 6 at 2 months and non of them eat eggs unless I provide it to them.
     

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