Help FOUND! Thanks for the great ideas!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WhetzelMomma, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Canyonville
    Recently, one of my chickens started pecking a hole in her egg after she laid. Today, I lost THREE eggs to holes. There is always a hole about 1/2 inch at it's widest, and the egg is still inside the shell.

    Some information about my hens.
    My chickens free range.
    They have unlimited access to oyster shell.
    They get layer scratch with 16% protein.
    This has happened once before, when I only had three hens, and it eventually stopped.
    I don't pull eggs as they are laid, because I want to encourage the rest of the hens to use the same nests. (this seems to work to keep the rest from trying to lay out in the yard until this new pecking thing.)
    I still have a few pullets laying witches eggs. I don't know if this has any relevance, but I'm including it.
    All of my hens are one year or younger.


    My questions:
    1. How do I stop this?
    2. If I can't stop it, how do I figure out who's doing it, and cull them?

    Edited to say I had some good ideas to start trouble shooting with! Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  2. chkinut

    chkinut Songster

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    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    i would get ceramic eggs and pull the real ones from the nest.
     
  3. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Canyonville
    I tried this with wooden balls the first time this happened... and it seemed like it made things worse! Where can I get ceramic eggs?
     
  4. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    I couldnt find ceramic so filled plastic easter eggs with sand and taped them shut. THey are working fine but when I go to collect eggs I think our EE chickens have started to lay and then am disappointed---every day!
     
  5. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Canyonville
    I found them by the dozen on line, but I don't NEED that many!! lol So I'm trying to think up ways I might make my own... Thanks for the idea!
     
  6. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Are you sure they are pecking it? My Turkins, will hole an egg with their claws at times getting out of the nest.

    How big are your nests? Sometimes a short or narrow nest makes it hard for them to move around in and an egg will get holed.

    Especially if they are fighting over a nest or there are 2 or 3 sharing a nest. I get that all the time. Big girls sit forever and the Buttercups get impatient and just go on in and lay their egg right next, practically on the Barred Rock especially.

    They will work it out, they are young still.
     
  7. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Canyonville
    It COULD be feet. What do those kind of holes look like? These are kind of in a triangle, like something has packed in the same spot over and over. It's a pullet egg always so far, so I think it's one of my new girls. My "nests" area really shelves with a board across the front. They are about 1.5 feet deep, and each shelf is about 3 feet long. There are four shelves like this in the coop, but they primarily use the bottom two. There is easily two nests in each shelf. Even the chickens seem to agree. They make "nests" on either end of the boxes. [​IMG] I'm hoping it is just inexperience, and until today, I had pretty much chalked it up to that, but then there were THREE instead of just the one I usually find.

    ETA a photo of what I'm talking about.
    [​IMG]
    Metal Shed Hen House Conversion by Whetzel Momma, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  8. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    The holes from feet are just holes, small. Could be feet or beck.

    But I notice your nests don't have a board for them to step out onto before jumping to the floor or jumping up onto from the floor. They have to jump into the nest from the floor. I think they may be having trouble getting out of the nests without punching holes in the eggs or when entering the nests. As they get bigger, it will be more of a problem. They could use a little ledge to jump up onto and from. They are having to use the nest itself and I think that is the problem.

    Watch them and see how they are getting in and out. That should tell you if that is the problem. If it is, then collect the eggs regularly until you can remedy their situation.

    Are they banties, the roosts aren't very big for LF hens.
     
  9. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Canyonville
    Ledges would be easy to add. I'll try that. I've recently added ramps for them to get up with. They aren't shown in the photo. The Roosts at the bottom are the smallest, at about 1.5 in square (the edges are not sharp) The Roosts at the top are larger, but everyone seems to like the smaller Roosts better, and they jostle for those the most. All my hens are regular sized. The biggest ones are BO.
     
  10. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    18" should be good. I'll bet they just have a problem getting in and out and that goes for the top nests too.

    I don't have BO's but I still think those Roosts are to small for them. My roosts are 2x4's, which I painstakingly sanded down and rounded the edges.

    Now my babies have roosts like yours and they love them. I use limbs or 1x2's for the youngsters.

    Well hope the ledges work for you. I have mine permanent. But if I was to do it again. I would put them on a hinge and put them down at night. When I add young pullets they use them to roost on at night. So I put a cover on a hinge over my nests so they can't use them at night. That way I don't care if they do use the nest ledge to roost on until they get more confident and find their place in the pecking order.

    Hope that fixes your problem.
     

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