Hens Eating their own eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by clairemcc1, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. clairemcc1

    clairemcc1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 5 hens in a coop together; 2 light sussexs, 2 hybrids and a marran. I recently got rid of my rooster a few days ago and yesterday they ate two of their eggs and today one has been ate. Would anyone know if this would be something to do with missing Billy (the rooster) or why they would be doing this? I have had them for two years and this is the first Ive have had any probelms with them eating eggs. I lift the eggs once everyday - so they dont lay about too long.

    If anyone can give me any advice as to why they may be doing this or what I can do to stop them eating their own eggs your help would be much apperciated.

    Thanks,
    Claire
     
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Did you SEE them eat the eggs? Sounds to me like you have a predator.... rat, snake, possum, etc... that Billy used to run off.
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    It usually happens that an egg gets laid that has a soft or thin shell it gets cracked, they see the egg and they eat it.

    The other's join in.

    Best thing you can do if they start eating their eggs is either get "roll away nests" or put the hens in the crockpot and enjoy them for dinner.
     
  4. clairemcc1

    clairemcc1 Out Of The Brooder

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    loanwizard, thats what my Dad said it might be a rat or something eating them, they are almost fully all ate out of the shell- more than just pecked at!

    Mahonri, whats left of the shell is pretty firm they are getting grit so they can eat as much as they want to build up their egg shells and the other egs that were left today all had good shells. They are our pets and I wouldn't eat them [​IMG]

    What should I do next? Set a camera up and find out for sure what it is? Any other ideas?
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Yup... either set up a camera or sit in the coop for a day!
     
  6. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:Grit has no calcium for egg shell production. Grit is used in the gizzard to help grind food (replaces teeth). Oyster shells are needed for extra calcium.





    Do the shells look all smashed or are the shells like half an egg shell with the insides missing? Generally (not always) but generally chickens who are eating their eggs, will eat the shells also. If you are left with "two shell halves" then I would look for rats, mice, squirrels, pack rats, oppossums, even coons - they like to dine but not eat the shell.



    Camera would really be the best, no guessing [​IMG]
     
  7. clairemcc1

    clairemcc1 Out Of The Brooder

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    From the three eggs that have been ate in the past 2 days, the shells have all been left behind - with all the yokes ate and 10% of the clear liquid left in the bottoms.
    The remained of the shells are not overly smashed up - they have about a 3cm whole in the side of them.

    haha as much as I like my hens I wouldnt sit in the coop for a whole day - the rat or whatever it is would probably see me! Ok i will get the camera set up tonight and hopefully find out tomorrow who/ or what it is!

    thanks for you help [​IMG]
     
  8. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    The easiest solution to me is to replace the rooster and let him do his job lol!
     
  9. clairemcc1

    clairemcc1 Out Of The Brooder

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    After 14 days of waiting and watching the camera I set up in the coop I just caught the culprit...... It was one of my Marran hens [​IMG]!! As I was watching her from the house we could hear her pecking away at the egg and we knew she was up to somthing, I quietly walked out into the coop, but by the time I got out she was out of the coop!! Anyways I lifted the broken egg she was eating out and returned to watch her in the house. She was in and out, in and out obviosuly looking to finsih it off when I rudelyinterupted her!!

    What should I do? She is nearly 2 years old and has only stated this 'egg eating' if possible I dont really want to get rid of her! Any suggestions??
     
  10. jjparke

    jjparke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get rid of her ASAP! The others will see her do it and start doing it too.
     

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