HELP! My young hens are eating their eggs!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by keeko, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. keeko

    keeko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    My hens just started laying about 3 weeks ago...at first it was only one hen, as we only found one egg per day in the nest box. Once I found an egg in the run and thought it must have rolled out of the coop.

    This morning, I saw my Rhode Island sitting, and came back an hour later to collect the egg. Only to find a few of the girls eating the shells and a yolk sitting in the nest box! Then, I heard a squawk a few minutes later, and saw that someone had laid a small egg IN THE RUN, and I was able to get it just before they started to peck at it.

    Is it possible they've been eating eggs for weeks??? If so, how do I break this terrible habit???

    I've done everything right:

    -there are fake wooden eggs in the nest boxes
    -there are 5 boxes for 12 hens
    -the nest boxes are soft and dark
    -they get lots of greens, berries and other scraps
    -they get time almost every evening outside of their run to forage and look for bugs
    -they have grit, oyster shells, and layer feed

    What am I doing wrong???? HELP!
     
  2. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Chillin' With My Peeps

    take a couple eggs. blow out the insides. fill it with something like Dawn soap ( i wouldnt) or Dijon Mustard (what i will use if this happens)

    Put them in the coop. everyone will come over to eat them, and get a mouth full of yucky stuff
     
  3. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Howdy neighbor! I'm sorry you're having this issue, it must be so incredibly frustrating to just start getting eggs only to have your feathered friends enjoying what should of been your breakfast.

    There are several threads on egg eaters, if you do a search you can find a ton of info from folks with the same problem. I would get on this issue FAST. It's not easy to break, but the sooner you act, the better.

    Here's a couple things I've heard that can work...

    1. Curtains on the nesting boxes with just a little slit in the middle for the girls to get in and out. Can keep the other hens from knowing an egg has been laid.
    2. Blow out an egg (or multiple eggs) and fill it with mustard, then seal with little pieces of tape and put in the nesting boxes. Hens try to eat egg, encounter mustard, chickens HATE mustard.
    3. Wooden/Stone fake eggs in nesting box (looks like you've already got that going on)
    4. Collect eggs VERY OFTEN
    5. Up protein in diet and offer distractions in the run (ie hanging cabbage, suet blocks, etc)

    GOOD LUCK!
     

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