Egg eating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LocoPollo, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    Yesterday I went to collect eggs and noticed on of the hens on the nest eating a broken egg in front of her. I don't know if she broke the egg or not, but she was definitely eating it, now that it was broken. I quickly cleaned it up and refreshed the nest, placing her on another nest.

    Is there anything in particular I should do at this point to monitor, prevent this? All I know to do is watch and if it happens again, I am afraid she will be soup.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You took the right steps and observing to determine the problem is the next right step. Odds are the egg broke accidentally and she was an opportunistic feeder. Why might an egg break? Do you have sufficient nesting material to cushion the blow of laying. Are you offering calcium such as oyster shell? Have your eggshells been thin? Are there new layers in the flock? Their eggs can be faulty until their egg factories get it right. It might just be a fluke that one broke or she might have stepped on it getting on or off the nest.

    You might have an egg eater. If the same hen does it again, it might be time for comfort food, chicken and dumplings or chicken soup.

    You might have a predator. Possibly a rat, skunk, or possum. Could be something else. If the hen saw a broken egg, she would probably eat it, especially the shell. Look for signs of a predator, digging, tracks, skat.

    I believe in a trapping program anyway. If you have chickens, you have chicken feed. If you have chicken feed, you most likely have mice and possibly other vermin. I believe in a live trap in case I catch something I want to release, doves for example. Make sure you put it where the chickens cannot get to it.
  3. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    I didn't think of vermin. You are right that could be part of it too. I will deal with that as well. Thank you!
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Hopefully you don't have an egg eater. What kind of chickies do you have? I had one that layed a soft shell once apparently when roosting as the egg was under the roost. I went into the house to get something and when I went back to the coop the egg was gone. I think one of the chickens probably ate it.
  5. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    Quote:The hen in question is a speckled sussex. I also have game birds and two ee's. I really hope i dont have to get rid of her. I love my ss's!
  6. ocean_rain21

    ocean_rain21 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I know for a fact a few of my chickens are egg eaters as i have caught them pecking at eggs. Can they be taught to stop the behaviore?
  7. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    OH No! One of my Speckled Sussex started to eat eggs. Fortunately I nipped it in the bud before she taught the others that skill.
    1: I put a bunch of fake (wooden) eggs in the nest boxes. She quickly learned that pecking at them was not rewarding.
    2: (more helpful, I think) I took a Dremel tool and gently rounded the tip of her beak so it is no longer sharp and pointy.
    I saw her attempt to peck at a few eggs since then, and she did manage to put small cracks in the ends of a few eggs, but she couldn't get that pointy little bill in to start working away the shell, so she eventually gave up.
    Good luck!
  8. dave_Cash69

    dave_Cash69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    you done the right thing
  9. carress

    carress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    I knew I had an eater.. I've been seeing shell and yolk occassionally for hte last few months. Today, I was cleaning out the coop (what a job!!!), and one of my meatbirds- who narrowly escaped her death in December- was munching away on an egg. I had to FIGHT her to get her out of the box, and she tried to go back in when I put her down. She seems to think she's entitled to those eggs.

    Tellynpeep - (or anyone)- Where did you get wooden eggs?

    I will try the grinding of the beak- as soon as I figure out how to work this doggone dremmel....
    .. it doesn't hurt, right?
  10. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    My hens have an interesting egg eating thing. If an egg is on the floor it is hen food, if it's in a nest bucket they don't touch it, even if they get cracked or broken accidentally in the buckets. It might not be the right thing to do but since I have noticed their habit any cracked eggs I find in the buckets I drop on the floor. The hens go right for it as soon as it hits the ground. This has been going on for 6 months and they never touch an egg in the nest. Weird, huh?

    As for wooden eggs, I got a bunch at a local craft store.

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