How to figure out which one is eating the eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gmachicken, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. gmachicken

    gmachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2010
    Grants Pass, OR
    Hi there,
    I have 17 hens. 5 are bantys the rest big girls. For the last while we have been losing at least one egg a day to an egg eater.
    It seems that they leave the little eggs alone.
    It also seems that it is in the same couple of nests.
    I try to clean out what ever they are on when I check for eggs and toss the wet bedding and shell.

    Is it something they are lacking? I serve up pretty high protein food and treats.

    Thank you for your help here.
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    No, it's nothing they are lacking. They simply like the taste of egg.

    This is a very difficult habit to break. Since you only have a few hens, try looking very carefully at their beaks for signs of egg yolk. You can also try blowing out an eggshell and filling the shell with dye, and placing that egg in the nest that's usually targeted. Finally, if you have another place to keep a few hens, like a big dog crate, you can put three hens in the crate for a couple of days and see if the eating stops. If it does not, choose another three hens, and so on until you figure out that the culprit is one of the three. Then swap out one of those hens for a few days, and see what happens, etc., until you know which one. I personally would cull that one, egg eating is really hard to stop since the hen is doing it for fun--kind of like keeping a kid out of an open candy bowl.

    In the meantime, try putting ceramic eggs or golf balls in all the nests. When a bird pecks at those, it hurts their beak and makes the game much less fun. I've done this and slowed down and almost eliminated egg eating (I have too many hens--I can never figure out who the problem is to get rid of her).

    Also, have you checked out the BYC Learning Center? Its often the best, first place to look for questions like these. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/six-tips-on-breaking-your-egg-eater
     

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