1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Help!!! Chickens pecking eggs.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nursemomab, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. nursemomab

    nursemomab Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    32
    Jun 16, 2015
    I am beyond frustrated! Only 4 out of our 22 egg layers have started laying. The first week was great but for the past 2 weeks the little buggers are pecking the eggs. We collect 2 times a day. How do I stop this terrible behavior now?! Should I cover the laying boxes with a curtain type thing? I'm finding that they are also pulling all of the straw out of the laying boxes. I keep piling it in to try and make it nest like and the next day there is only a skiff of straw left in the boxes. Would appreciate any advice!!! Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

    13,680
    1,753
    356
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Usually egg eating is a sign they need more protein, put some ceramic eggs in the nest, sometimes they peck those and give up, sometimes it's not pecking but toenail holes, how big are your boxes, it sounds like they are unhappy about them. Just some thoughts.
     
  3. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,455
    354
    228
    Mar 31, 2014
    Ohio
    I've had hens do the same thing. I bought some hard ceramic eggs from the feed store & put them in the nest box. A few times pecking at those & the hens gave up pecking any eggs. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  4. nursemomab

    nursemomab Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    32
    Jun 16, 2015
    What should I give them to help increase their protein? There are 6 boxes that can each fit 2 full size leghorns standing in them. are they to small you think? I will stop and grab some ceramic eggs tomorrow.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

    13,680
    1,753
    356
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Nest boxes should be 12 square, leghorns are busy flighty chickens, they could be stepping on them, I like to make a higher protein grower available to my chickens as well as a layer so they can pick what they eat, have you seen them pecking the eggs, I use a combination of hay and shavings in the nest, I have notice the lighter breeds of chickens are more fidgety in the nest boxes, I like the heavier girls.
     
  6. InSeeGal

    InSeeGal New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 22, 2015
    We thought ours were doing the same thing, but we realized that they were cracking as they hit the bottom of the box. They had been kicking out the straw also, so we put a ton more in so that getting it out wouldn't be quite as easy. Haven't had any problems since. Good luck!
     
  7. nursemomab

    nursemomab Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    32
    Jun 16, 2015
    I haven't seen them pecking them. I thought about the possibility of them cracking upon laying due to them kicking the straw out. I think I will add in some shavings and extra hay tomorrow. Or maybe they are stepping on them. Lots to think about!! Thanks for the replies!!
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

    13,680
    1,753
    356
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    If it's during laying they will be cracked, toenails cause a round poke hole, pecking almost always ends with them eating the eggs, so there's broken shells and egg in the nestboxes.
     
  9. nursemomab

    nursemomab Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    32
    Jun 16, 2015
    These have poke holes sometimes not broke all the way through. It sounds like they are stepping on them. What can I do to prevent this?
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

    13,680
    1,753
    356
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It's the breed, I have a few flighty birds, I hate them, flying at my head. Deeper bedding may help, maybe they will calm down a bit after they get used to the routine, the ceramic eggs might help give a cushion, you might have to spend some time observing them, see who doing it, maybe trim some nails, I find eggs poked occasionally, less now than I did earlier in the season. Never seen them until this last year when I tried some lighter birds, never again.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by