Hens Eating Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spitfirecream15, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My mixed flock of Leghorn and Old English Game banties are eating eggs. They just started laying 2 weeks ago and have eaten their eggs from the get-go. My roo also steps in and eggs them on (no pun intended) by eating along with them. I just moved them to a new facility and as of today they don't have a decent nest box. It's cold (-20 norm) and they're locked up in their coop most of the time so maybe they're bored. I've given them a suet cage with mixed veggies/leafy greens/apple chunks in it and keep it filled and they've got plenty of food and lots of sand but they are still eating eggs! I'm not sure what to do.
    Any suggestions? I'd be very grateful.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Do they have enough space? Boredom can be a big problem, and also make sure their diet is good. Layer pellets, oyster shell and grit in separate containers, unfrozen water all the time. Minimal stress in general. Darker nest boxes, enough for the number of hens you have. Then figure out who's breaking the eggs, and move her elsewhere. Once the eggs are broken, everyone will eat them. The culprit is the bird who first opens the eggs. Good luck, Mary
     
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  3. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I'll try those suggestions. I think they are bored, I've heard that's a big problem. So dark nest boxes will make a difference? I wasn't sure if that would do anything, but thanks for letting me know! I will pinpoint the culprit and move her, as well. Thanks!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What is their regular feed....and what is the protein level?
    With all the veggies in the suet cage they may not be eating enough of their balanced chicken chow(if they have that).

    How much space do they have in the coop (feet by feet)??
    You just moved them so that can cause stress too.

    Is the coop draft free and well bedded?
    -20F is the norm? Without windchill? seriously? Brrrrr!!
    Where are you located?
     
  5. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    Can you let them out of the coop?

    The frigid temps really do not bother the chickens. I let mine out everyday at between 9-10 am. They love it and are waiting for me to open their door.

    It has been below zero here for the last 3 weeks. They just like being outdoors.
     
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  6. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi aart,
    They are on whole wheat, nothing else. Sometimes they get some alfalfa pellets and sweet feed, but only occasionally. I'm not sure how big the chicken coop is but it used to be a pump house with a full sized pressure tank and pipes in it. When I open the door and close it late one of the hens always insists on sleeping in the old chicken coop, so I have to move her back into the new one, so maybe they miss their old house.
    The coop has about 3 or 4 inches of fresh straw and is draft free and I even have a red heat lamp hanging from the ceiling.
    Norm is -20 Celcius, with windchill it's sometimes -40 C. But their coop is inside an old horse shed with with no door so there's not to much wind inside.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would not think that whole wheat would contain all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids that a bird needs......

    ....they may be eating the eggs because they are lacking some nutrient and are eating whatever they can get their little beaks on to seek it out..
     
  8. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what do you think they should be eating? i've heard that they may need calcium.....
     
  9. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    I think you need to feed oyster shells at the least.

    Maybe a good layer feed would help supplement the wheat.


    I would be worried about using an old pump house, the ones I know of are very air tight.


    BTW when I say below Zero temps I mean F not C.
     
  10. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    okay, thanks. a friend of mine has chickens and she feeds oyster shells but her hens are devout egg eaters. she feeds barley, wheat, and peas but no layer feed. also the pump house the carpenter that built it installed vents and made it chicken-friendly :)
    that's fine, i don't really care if you use F or C but i always use C. doesn't matter though :)
    thanks!
     

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