Hens eating frozen eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by humphrey farms, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2012
    Naples Maine
    The temps are below zero. I collect 2-3 times a day. No heat source in coop but plenty of hay, shavings, shredded newspaper. When the eggs freeze & crack I use a brick or a hoe to chop them open on the snow for the hens. I wont sell them because of bacteria or eat them ourselves. LATELY some off the hens have been eating eggs without my interference. Not always frozen. On nice days (18-25 degrees at noon) they do come out of the coop and scratch around in hay bales I laid on the snow in front of the coop.
    My question: Are they bored? or just plain hungry? They are being fed: Flock Raiser, BOSS, corn, house scraps, and reduced priced collard greens , tomatoes, lettuce, from the grocery store. They don't eat eggs during the spring through late fall. We are having a long hard winter. Any suggestions? will the habit continue during the rest of the year now??? Thank you.[​IMG]
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    They are eating them because they are yummy. Unfortunately, hens who have learned that eggs are yummy can rarely be deterred. If you do a search on the forum for roll away nest boxes, that is one option - the idea is that the egg rolls away as soon as it is laid, into a trough that is inaccessible to the birds and therefore they don't have access to them to eat them. Otherwise, the usual recommendation is to cull the culprits.

    I do also feed eggs back to the flock occasionally, but cracking them open in front of them may have been a mistake. Usually I carry them up to the house, break them open in a bowl and then return them as a "treat". That way they don't seem to make the connection.
     
  3. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2012
    Naples Maine
    Thank you. I know two of the culprits because of their legs bands. I think I will wait until spring and see what happens. If the behavior continues then into the soup pot with them but right now one is a pullet and young. The other always a good layer is taking her winter break. They are pastured free ranging hens(22) and usually only spend enough time in the coop laying. lets hope!!!
     

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