How to catch an egg eater?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marlene, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2011
    UK
    One of my pullets is eating eggs, how do i go about catching the culprit before the bad habit spreads to the others?
    I keep finding a small bit of shell with the contents totally gone, this is happening on a regular basis now and i need to nip it in the butt before it gets out of hand.
    And before anyone suggests that i collect eggs early and all day, i do.
    This seems to be happening when an egg is layed early in the morning before i let them out. I let the girls out every morning at 7am.
    How have you folks delt with egg eaters?
    Hubby said the egg eater should be culled, but i would rather avoid that if possible or if there is another way to stop the egg eating.
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    You could pen each hen separately and let each out after you get their egg...

    If a hen is 'on break' but not broody keep them penned.

    You should be able to narrow down who eats eggs that way, if you get an egg - especially a cold egg out from the crate then she is not eating eggs, if you get an eaten egg you'll know for sure- if you don't ever get an egg and she's not broody she's eating all of it ...

    As this hens laying early in the morning you should be able to put them in cat crates after they roost one night and go out to see what you have at 7:00 -
     
  3. Chicken Lover 1

    Chicken Lover 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On weekends I hang out in the chicken yard with my chickens watching the nest box. The chickens will eat their eggs in front of me. I will then know which girl has the problem.
     
  4. Chicken Lover 1

    Chicken Lover 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2012
    santa rosa california
    Oh yah never cull the chicken that is just wrong. No one would kill you if you ate something they wanted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Oh, I forgot, make sure you have nice strong shells all the time, weak shells can break when laid, this can encourage them to -clean up- not breaking eggs on purpose just eating broken eggs is normal and instinct.

    breaking the eggs by pecking a hole (like it sounds like you have) and eating the insides is bad and can become a habit.

    Put out extra calcium if you have too, kale and spinach have calcium too.
     
  6. valley ranch

    valley ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Greetings, We have 4 known egg eating hens and a roo. The roo is the biggest heartbraker, a great roo. But!!

    I grew up on a ranch. A hen that eats eggs like a dog that ate sheep is move to a different part of the operation as when a tractor or fence is used for parts or material, while an old horse might be put out to pasture a dog that eat your chicken or sheep might be put in the pasture. If an animal eats you food and is an edible animal well, it must be moved to a different locale where, they are most needed, just as an animal who comes to eat the chickens or their food, like a mouse or rat, must be removed.
    We do have a chicken who has retired from laying but doesn't eat eggs, we hope she lives for many years. Best of luck to you and yours.
     
  7. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2011
    UK
    Thanks for the feedback.
    I do not want to cull and will not unless absolutely neccessary, but i do not want this bad habit to spread to the other girls. I have read on here many a times that once one does it, if it is not dealt with straight away then the others pick up the bad habit also.
    I have my hens to provide my family with fresh eggs, if they start eating the eggs then what is the point of keeping them? I cannot afford to feed 9 hens that are not giving me any eggs.
    This is why i am asking for help to sort it out asap, it is easier to deal with 1 than have to deal with 9 egg eaters.
     
  8. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    really giving them all solitary confinement and every egglayer stays... you were given a plan.
     
  9. valley ranch

    valley ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, yesterday we removed 4 hens and the roo.

    The roo would open the eggs and call the hens to feed.

    Did not want to do the them, especially the roo, but he was teaching the hens something that counteracted the reason for their being here.
    We tried everything, in the end it was as I learned as a boy.
     
  10. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    So were the eggs being laid in the nest and the roo actually hopped in the nest? And you were there to witness it? I have been getting just a few eggs a day and have been having trouble with weak shells even tho I feed layer and offer oyster, not sure if the girls arent feeling well or if I have rats or hens eating eggs or what.
     

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