How do I identify an egg eater and how to know if it is accidental

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WeLuvRuckus, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. WeLuvRuckus

    WeLuvRuckus Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    4
    83
    May 21, 2013
    Carthage Maine
    It all started a week ago when my DB found an egg shell on the floor of our coop . We figured it got knocked out of the nest box and they ate it . Now for the last 3 days in a row I have found broken eggs or just the shell IN my nest boxes . I did see one of my brahmas with yolk on her head but I don't know if it was her or not
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,752
    1,254
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    If it's egg eating, it will continue as a repetitive thing. Sometimes new layers get curious, and will peck at the egg. Stick some golf balls in there so when they peck at it, it doesn't feel good. If the egg has a soft shell, and gets broken, they will eat it. It doesn't necessarily mean they are egg eaters.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,311
    3,620
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You’ve got a challenging one. It may not even be your chickens. Rats immediately come to mind but possums and skunks will eat eggs like that too.

    About any chicken will eat an egg that is opened. I don’t consider that an egg eater or a problem of any sort, though it can lead to egg eating. To me an egg eater is a chicken that purposely opens an egg to eat it. I had one of those once. As soon as I figured out which one it was she went in the freezer.

    How hard and thick are the shells you are finding? If they are really thin, maybe they are getting broken just by the hens walking on them or moving them around as they rearrange the nest. I’ve had that happen, but not as consistently as I think you are seeing.

    That Brahma is under suspicion but you’re right. That is not proof beyond all doubt. When I had my egg eater she would open the egg but some others would help her eat it.

    I’ve heard of rolling an egg and see which hen chases it and pecks it. Again that adds a lot of suspicion but I’ve seen a hen peck at an egg in that situation and she was not opening eggs to eat them. Still, if she opens the egg, you’ve got your girl.

    I was just lucky that I saw mine opening an egg. I was able to spend a lot of time down there watching. She didn’t know she was doing anything wrong and was not trying to hide it.
     
  4. WeLuvRuckus

    WeLuvRuckus Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    4
    83
    May 21, 2013
    Carthage Maine
    my buff orpington and production red are new layers and everytime I go into the coop my buff runs into the coop and goes into the nest box
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by