Hi I'm New & Where are my eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crabbycluck, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. crabbycluck

    crabbycluck Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Oct 8, 2007
    Central GA
    Hi all! I was so happy to find this forum. I love chickens... always have. I have a small free-range flock in my back yard consisting of three Dominique hens, 3 huge white hens (these are the meat-type chickens a friend gave me) and a young bantam hen.

    The Dominiques and white hens started laying about two months ago. I would average anywhere from 3-6 eggs a day from 6 hens. All of a sudden, I noticed one of the white hens eating an egg. I assumed it was because the shell might have been too thin. The other 2 white hens were also eating the same egg. Now, I've only been getting 2 eggs per day (and they are from the Dominiques that are laid in a hidden nest that the white girls don't know about). I see the white hens on the nests, but no eggs when I go to check. I'm so upset! I want my eggs!

    I've read on this forum that adding some grit and protein from cat food may help. I started that yesterday. My only concern is that these white hens were bred to eat as much as they can so they can grow as big as they can. They LOVE their food and now I'm afraid they won't stop eating the eggs now that they know they can. Any advice?

    Thanks!
     
  2. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are not going to like what I say.

    1.) "Meat Type" hens do not have a long life capacity.
    2.) Once a hen finds out that their eggs taste good its hard to break them of the habit.

    You can break them but you should cull the the "meat types"they are voracious eaters and I doubt that you can break them of the habit. Cull the meat types and put wooden eggs in their nest to try to break them of this. Sorry, I know thats not what you want to hear.
     
  3. crabbycluck

    crabbycluck Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Oct 8, 2007
    Central GA
    Quote:I hate the thought of "culling" anything. I'm the type of person that pulls off the side of the road to help a turtle cross safely. I totally agree that they are voracious eaters and may not have a long life expectancy. They are already SOOOO huge and fat, they can hardly walk. The eat like they are starving to death. They lay such lovely eggs... I hope they stop eating them. I don't have any wooden eggs, but I do have several plastic easter eggs. I'm going to put several in the laying boxes to see if that confuses them at all.
     
  4. crabbycluck

    crabbycluck Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Oct 8, 2007
    Central GA
    OK... the plastic eggs are in place. I even put a couple plastic eggs in the feed trough. The girls didn't even give them a second look. We'll see if this helps the egg-eating incident.
     
  5. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I've heard and read all sorts of cures for this.. my fav is to poke a hole in the egg and put in something nasty tasting.

    Haven't tried to use it, but sounded interesting.

    Have also heard if you darken the nest box it makes it harder for them to see the eggs. Hang a piece of cloth over the doorway.

    Put the nestboxes at an angle so the eggs roll out a slot in the back, and away from the hens.

    Honestly, though, a farmer told us when we first got our chickens that an egg-eater had to be culled. He didn't feel like they could be trained out of it.

    Best of luck.
    Meghan
     
  6. crabbycluck

    crabbycluck Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Oct 8, 2007
    Central GA
    Quote:Seriously... I think my meat-type hens would be too stupid to find their way in (or out of) the nest if I were to darken it. LOL.
     
  7. crabbycluck

    crabbycluck Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Oct 8, 2007
    Central GA
    Well the plastic eggs had no affect today... still no eggs from anyone but my two Dominque hens who lay in a hidden spot. Grrrrrrr. Chicken & dumplings anyone?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by