Egg eating or something else?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JMPE, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. JMPE

    JMPE Songster

    Aug 1, 2009
    Western Wisconsin
    My 5 girls were born Aug. of '09. Last winter they all began laying between Dec. and Feb.. Late this fall, and until very recently, they went through a molt. Most have still not started laying again which is to be expected with the winter down turn and the molting. However, I have now found a goopy nest box several times in the past weeks. There is no shell bits, but it looks as if the pine shavings have been soaked in egg goo or water. They get layer crumbles and have oyster shell available to them. It's be wicked cold up here, and although they have the opportunity to go out in the run, they are staying in for the most part.

    Does this sound like they are chowing down? Are they bored or lacking in some important nutrient or mineral? Could it be something else?

    I plan to add golf balls tomorrow and not just have the dish of oyster shell, but also add some to their food. I also hope to Provide them with some entertainment for these long winter days... any ideas?

  2. dawny2u2

    dawny2u2 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Winston, MT
    I am fairly new to chickens, but I will throw in my experience. I have had the same thing happen, and Yes, (I hate to say) I think it is egg eating. One time, I found a tiny piece of shell in the box. This has happened to me four or five times, they are cooped up, I am hoping this is passing, and I am still getting alot of eggs. On the days I am home, I am out there constantly, collecting eggs.
    As far as why, I hope someone more knowledgable steps up to the plate here. I think it is usually just one, who gets to like the eggs. But keep an eye open for shells, it amazed me that they eat the whole egg. Oh, and someone replied to me that sometimes you can see egg on the face or beak of the culprit. I've been looking though, and have 't seen anything suspicious. Good Luck!
  3. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    Sounds like eggs eating to me. Chickens usually eat the shells too. [​IMG]
    As to stopping egg eating, I really haven't found a fool proof way yet, but collecting the eggs multiple times a day. So they don't get a chance to eat them.
  4. sben451

    sben451 Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Anniston, AL
    I thought I had a hen who was eating eggs. I had found egg shell pieces in the nest box a couple of times lately. Then last week I noticed two nests with bits of egg shell in them and a fat possum sitting on top of the nest box. Needless to say, he was dispatched and hopefully that's the end of that problem. I have yet to figure out how he got into the coop, but I'm still checking the fencing.

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