FRUSTRATED! How to stop egg eating.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by APDoxies, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. APDoxies

    APDoxies Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    1
    81
    Sep 16, 2012
    Olive Branch, IL
    My Buff Orphington hen laid an egg in one of the nest boxes & then my White Rock hen (whom was in a different next box) left her box & ATE the entire egg & shell that the Orphington just laid! That is so irritating! WHY would she do that? How do I make her stop?
     
  2. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    22
    98
    Apr 11, 2012
    AL
    Once it becomes a habit, it's incredibly hard to break. One of the birds probably accidentally broke an egg, discovered how yummy the contents were and are now purposely breaking the eggs. First I'd make sure you've got strong egg shells. Are you providing additional calcium? If the shells are thin, the slightest movement in the nest box could break them, sending your hens into a frenzy. You'll need to provide more calcium if this is an issue. Then you can figure out how you're going to break the habit.

    A couple methods that I've run across include blowing the contents of an egg out - keeping the shell intact. (I use a syringe, and pull them out instead) then fill the eggshell with mustard or dish washing liquid. Place the eggs back in the nest boxes and next time someone wants a treat they'll get a mouthful of yucky. You may have to repeat this more than once.

    You could also build a roll away nest box. Once the eggs are laid, they roll out of the bird's reach.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/76189/roll-away-nesting-box
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  3. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    22
    98
    Apr 11, 2012
    AL
    Computer freaked out, double post.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  4. APDoxies

    APDoxies Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    1
    81
    Sep 16, 2012
    Olive Branch, IL
    Thank you for the advice! Yes, they have free choice oyster shell.
    I had a thought though - nearly every day I had been taking treats out to them. Leftovers from our dinners, apples, bananas, carrots, greens, bread, etc. But the last 2 weeks have been incredibly crazy busy for us - as far as we can tell, this started happening just last weekend after 1 week of less treats & they've had even less treats this week - and it's happened again.
    Do you think there's a connection? I'd hate to cull this hen as she lays nearly every day, but I can't stand wondering how many eggs she's eating & I certainly don't want her teaching the others to do it, too.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. chickenluver100

    chickenluver100 Out Of The Brooder

    42
    1
    26
    Nov 26, 2012
    Hi!
    The same thing happened to my chickens over the summer. I broke the habit by putting a few wooden eggs into the nest box, and when they try to peck at it nothing happens. Mine quickly lost interest. Also, try to collect eggs as much as possible, you want them to have as little time seeing the real eggs as possible, Because they can peck those.
    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
  6. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,178
    36
    148
    May 27, 2012
    Lucky Duck Pond
    Try the mustard egg!!!! that's the only thing I can think of.
     
  7. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    22
    98
    Apr 11, 2012
    AL
    They're not being occupied with goodies as they usually would be, and they may be bored. Sometimes there is a connection between boredom and egg eating. Whether or not that is connected in your case, I don't know. It's a possibility, I suppose.

    Here's an article (I believe this is where I found the mustard/soap filled egg idea)
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/six-tips-on-breaking-your-egg-eater
    I'm not sure about some of the tips, but if all else fails I'd give them a shot.


    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  8. APDoxies

    APDoxies Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    1
    81
    Sep 16, 2012
    Olive Branch, IL
    Ok, so I've been trying to make sure I'm giving treats again & so far - no more eaten eggs! Fingers crossed!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by