Highly Disturbing!!!

momofsomj

Hatching
10 Years
May 16, 2009
6
0
7
Wellsville
Tonight I went into our chicken palace, opened the large person door and discovered one of our new hens squatting. I have never seen a hen do this so I kind of watched her thinking she was sick or something. Then she moved and there was an egg so now I know how a hen looks when she is laying an egg. Here's the disturbing part. Our beloved Annelise was standing near by and I was talking to her. As soon as the other hen moved away, Annelise ran over and tore that warm soft egg open and all the hens dove on it! It was like she knew what that hen was doing and stood there waiting! I watched in horror (until my brain said get it away from them and I moved)! My dad says there is nothing that can be done about a "cannabalistic" chicken than to eat her and from other posts I have read it sounds like he may be right. Please someone tell me there is hope! Annelise is our children's absolute favorite. They take her for stroller rides, she swings in the swings and goes for wheelbarrow rides. My three year old carries her around like a cat and she just takes it. My dad warned me about letting my kids name something we might someday have to eat! Oh this is horrible!
 

mtnhomechick

Songster
11 Years
Jun 27, 2008
2,160
7
191
Mountain Home, AR
Fret not ( yet ). On two occasions I discovered chickens eating eggs. As soon as I put oyster shell in the run.......free choice...it stopped. Never had to cull. Good Luck.
 

luvmychicknkids

Canning Squirrel
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
5,679
28
261
Floresville, Texas
If the egg was soft, as you described it, that is most likely why she ate it. She isn't a cannibal for eating an egg, though. An egg isn't a baby chick. The yolk is, in fact, the food for the developing baby inside the egg. I would just watch her and if she is that loved separate her if you have to.
 
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ArizonaDesertChicks

Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs
11 Years
Dec 8, 2008
2,378
37
229
Glendale, AZ
I've also had a few soft eggs that were laid on the floor eaten by pullets, but not once have they touched the normal eggs that were laid in the nextboxes - in fact, I've found a few normal eggs in the run (laid by newbies) that weren't touched either.

Try adding golfballs to their nestboxes (if you haven't already). After I found the soft eggs, I also temporarily placed a golfball on the floor just to discourage egg eating - they peck the ball and don't like the feel. I just put it down in a different area each time for 2-3 days just so they wouldn't see that stray egg as being food. The ball on the floor won't make them start laying in the middle of the floor if you also have some nice nesting areas for them with golfballs inside.

My black stars laid several soft eggs when they first started and now they're all laying normal eggs. Also, almost everyone of my chickens laid their first egg in a strange place (either on the floor of the coop, from the roost, or in the middle of the run), but quickly (usually by the second egg) figured out what to do. Your Annelise will figure it out too - the golfballs in the nesting areas will help her to know where to lay.
 

Kansaseq

Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
3,723
31
226
NE Kansas
Quote:Ditto. My girls all layed odd, soft shelled eggs in odd places (off of their roost!) in the beginning. They are now laying in the nest box with the help of a golf ball. I wouldn't worry too much.
 

caralouise1974

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
590
5
141
Evesham, Worcestershire, UK
Soft shelled eggs are an easy target for hens to peck at and eat. Don't worry too much about it. They get laid in odd places, they often break when they hit the floor, and hens do so love the taste of fresh raw egg. You DO NOT need to cull anyone seen eating them!

As previously stated, they will not neccessarily progress to eating the fully-shelled eggs that are laid in the nestboxes. If they do, it's difficult to break them from it, but it can still be done.

Cannibals are hens who peck at the feathers and eventually the skin of other hens, breaking the surface and in some cases causing horrific deep wounds. Often this will be to the point of death (and beyond). Hens that start feather picking should therefore be tackled immediately and removed if it progresses to broken skin. It is totally different from egg-eating, especially soft-shelled ones, which are such an easy target.

So no roast chicken for dinner, please!
 

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