Egg-eating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by IloveBuffy, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. IloveBuffy

    IloveBuffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not getting many eggs, and there is sometimes sticky stuff in the nest box. How do I identify the egg-eater/s? I have golf balls in there, but they are not working. Has anybody successfully done this without culling?
     
  2. IloveBuffy

    IloveBuffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and I found an egg with a small hole in it a couple days ago.
     
  3. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is almost impossible to figure out who the egg eater is without sitting out there all day or setting up a camera. How many chickens do you have? I have about 30 hens right now and I also have an egg eater who just started and i haven't been able to figure out which hen it is. Very frustrating.
     
  4. IloveBuffy

    IloveBuffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    12 hens, 4 roos.
     
  5. MashedPotatos

    MashedPotatos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had an egg eater, but we only have 3 hens so all we did was put bread and other food scraps out there and they became more interested in the food than their eggs.[​IMG]
     
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  6. gummybear24

    gummybear24 Out Of The Brooder

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    They are eating their eggs because of a deficiency. Luckily there is an easy way to fix this. I buy store bought eggs and give them scrambled eggs. I know that sounds funny but it is a different texture and will stop them eating their eggs. I feed ours scrambled eggs once or twice a week. Hope this helps you
     
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  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I wish this was true, but egg-eating is usually caused because a hen accidentally breaks an egg, tastes it and likes what it tastes like. Chickens think eggs are yummy and they learn to break them fairly quickly once they figure out that there is goody inside. This is why you should never feed raw egg with the shell to chickens.

    If the golf balls aren't working, the best way to ID the egg eater is to inspect beaks carefully for signs of egg yolk, and cull the offender. It's really hard to stop a dedicated egg eater. If you want to try everything first, look in the BYC Learning Center for the article on how to break an egg eater for suggestions.

    The point about making sure they're amused is a good one, too. I have more egg eating when my chickens are bored inside the hen house due to bad weather, and the best solution there is to give them something to do, like peck at a cabbage on a string. I also make sure to gather eggs as often as I can so there are fewer eggs sitting around to break, and fewer eggs in the boxes to be accidentally broken when a hen is getting in and out of the nest.
     
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  8. buck-buck

    buck-buck Out Of The Brooder

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  9. buck-buck

    buck-buck Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I replied to the wrong thread so at the risk of repeating myself:

    I just broke my birds of eating eggs after making the mistake of letting a non-chicken owner watch our flock of 11 when we went on vacation. There’s an article about this in BYC but you fill eggs with dish soap and let your girls have at those. The way I did it was to take a "turkey nail" (it came with a turkey baster but I don't know what it’s for) that was sitting in our utensil l drawer for who knows how long to poke a hole all the way through both sides of the egg (the long way). Swirl the ‘nail’ around inside the eggs to break the yolk. Carefully blow out the egg into a bowl and cook it up (or freeze it for later). Glue a tiny piece of paper towel, (or egg shell) over one of the two holes on the egg and let the glue dry. Saturate the paper towel with glue so its water proof. You could probably even just plug the hole with hot glue.

    Prior to all this I went to Walgreens and asked the pharmacist for the biggest oral syringe they had (which they'll give you for free). Fill the syringe with dish soap and inject the soap into your hollow eggs. Plug the other hole once they are filled and you’re ready for battle. Put them in your nesting boxes and check for new eggs as often as possible (I checked 3 times a day). You’ll have to keep replacing the soap eggs for a few days but your birds will figure out that eggs don’t taste so great.

    One final note: I gave them a pie pan of oyster shell in their run -- just in case there was a deficiency. Good luck. Above all and contrary to popular belief: DON'T CULL YOUR BIRDS BECAUSE OF THIS. YOU CAN RE-TRAIN THEM. It took about 1-2 weeks but they're staying away from their egss now.
     
    4 people like this.
  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I think it may depend on how many eggs you're losing and how many you get each day. If you only get six eggs a day, it's easy to leave a bunch of soapy eggs in the nest boxes. We are gathering 12-30 eggs each trip three times a day. The likelihood that a hen chooses the doctored egg vs. any other egg is pretty slim--I've tried it, and have had every egg but the doctored egg in a nest broken and eaten. If I could catch her, I'd cull her--but I can't catch her among so many hens. The golf ball deterrent does work pretty well for us, however. I do notice fewer eggs broken when I leave at least one golf ball in every box.
     

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