Hens eating their eggs- what's missing?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by valmom, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. valmom

    valmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought we feed our girls pretty well, but, in the process of letting eggs accumulate for a brood, we discovered that one of them is eating the eggs- the nest and other eggs has egg yolk all over them.
    [​IMG]

    We have free choice layer pellets, free choice calcium chloride, and twice a day we toss flax seeds, sunflower seeds, a bit of cracked corn and whole oats, and a few times a week spaghetti. Also, the bugs are starting to appear, and they get worms collected out of the garden. What are we missing that someone finds it necessary to eat the eggs??
     
  2. chicktasticvt

    chicktasticvt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
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  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Eggs are good and it is top notch protein. You could give them some canned cat food or dry kibble. You could even cook them some meat scraps or hamburger.

    Look at the beaks and see if you can see dried yolk on the face feathers. Separate that one/two out and increase their protein.

    It is very hard to stop an egg eater. You may end up having to cull.
     
  4. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you feed mealworms or cat kibble or another form of protien they won't need to eat the eggs, but it can become a bad habit. Take a few eggs and rub them with something noxious such as horseradish or garlic or pepper and leave them in the nest. The hens will learn to leave the eggs alone. I personally haven't tried this, but I heard it works.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Peppery or hot foods won't cause them to stop eating. Chickens do not have heat receptor taste buds like humans.
     
  6. BikerBabeRules

    BikerBabeRules Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 2 hens that did that. I took them to a farmer who gladly took them even though I told him of the egg eating issues, he was going to eat them. I don't have the wear-with-all to cull anything yet and he stuck them in his hen house with his 30 hens and roos, they are low women on the totem pole, know their place and don't bother anything, they just keep to themselves, together as a pair. They lay him eggs every day and he won't have them for dinner unless they misbehave. In return, he gave me a couple fresh laid eggs from his flock to test for fertility. Sure enough, day 21 came and those eggs were fertile. So now, I have to cute little roos in return for those egg laying hens. Who got the better deal? [​IMG]
     
  7. valmom

    valmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not good at culling:/ I'd have to give them away to the neighbor down the road if I figure out who it is, and it gets to be a habit. This is the first time it has happened.

    This morning there were 17 eggs in the "laying" nest (I left them because on Tuesdays I have to get up and out early) and this evening there were 19 eggs- I took out the two un-crayon marked ones and left it again for over night. Maybe it was a fluke?
     
  8. ldarian

    ldarian New Egg

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    I think it could easily be a fluke. I caught my ladies eating an egg for the first time last week. I was VERY worried, but they haven't eaten one since. The egg they had eaten was right under the roost, so I think they accidently landed on it and it cracked open. If you crush the eggshells to feed back to your hens (as I do), you'll probably want to stop that practice for a little while.
     
  9. valmom

    valmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought about feeding eggshells back to them, but decided not to for just this reason. I thought it just might give them the idea of egg eating. They get rocks of calcium chloride.
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sounds like protein... or if it just happened once.. an accident. With more than a dozen in a nest, someone could have accidentally broke one and they all saw it as food. I know my hens won't hesitate to eat a broken cracked out egg on the floor, but give them a uncracked, unbroken one... they get confused roll it under a bit, and walk away.
     

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