I have an egg eater

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ginasmarans, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    I brought my dad's hens home because he can't care for them any longer. Everyday since I have found the remains of at least one broken egg. Every day,in the same nest. I thought I found the culprit and I trimmed her top beak. Today it happened again. I blew out an egg,injected hot sauce,sealed it with wax and put it in that nest. Anyone have any experience with egg eaters?
  2. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    I don't have any personal experience, but it doesn't seem to me that the beak trimming would work. [​IMG] I think the hot sauce egg will give your egg eater, whoever s/he is, a nasty surprise! [​IMG] [​IMG] You can find out who is eating the eggs by putting an egg out in the open and observing what happens. Good luck--egg eating is a nasty habit!
  3. paul65

    paul65 In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    SW Pennsylvania
    I would try to find out who it is an cull its hard to break them when they start. I had one i tried ipacac (i know i spell that wrong) and it did not work i don't think hot sauce will work because some people say they put hot pepper powder in the chicken feed in the winter to help keep chickens warm and they say it helps with worms.
  4. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    When we had lots of chickens, an egg eater just self nominated herself to be Sunday dinner. Now that we only have a few hens, we can't cull them just for that.

    Search and read about the roll a way nest on this website. The hen can't eat it if she can't get it.

    Also, egg eating is indicative of over crowding and nutritional problems. Address those problems. Make sure the hens are getting lots of green weeds and grass, oyster shell and protein.

    And for what it is worth, I don't think chickens can taste chili; our hens love leftover chili, both green and red.

    Good luck,

  5. Mule Chick

    Mule Chick In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2008
    I put some ceramic eggs in the nest when I had that problem. it seemed to cure it, but I would also be sure they aren't bored or missing something nutritionally as well.
  6. precipice

    precipice In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I don't have a solution for you, but one piece of advice: once you figure out the culprit, get her out of the coop, right away. We had an egg eater that stayed in the coop for a couple of weeks (my wife didn't want to leave her alone in the basement, where she was crying plaintively, so she put her back in the coop), and the day after I finally found a farm that would take her, I found an egg pecked open by another one of our hens. [​IMG] Apparently they learn the habit from each other. When I found the broken egg yesterday, it was all I could do not to break down in tears after working so hard to take care of the first egg eater. So, separate the culprit(s) and don't let them train the others.
  7. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    Well, I'm not really hopeful about the hot sauce,but maybe it will at least mark the hen who tries to eat it. I think the hens did have nutritional problems. My dad is of the old school,and he was not overly concerned with meeting nutritional needs,nor did he worry about how many eggs he got. They get fed better with me and also get to free range quite a bit,but I think once the habit starts,nutrition will play a small role. Hopefully I will be able to at least figure out which one it is. I know an egg occasionally can get broken,but this is one nest and it's been happening every day for about a week now,so I'm pretty sure it's deliberate.If I don't catch her before the weekend,maybe I'll be able to watch them closely on Saturday.
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Chickens don't have heat receptors like humans do. The hot sauce will not deter them. There is usually only one way to deal with an egg eater. You can start checking beaks and look for signs of dried yolk on the beak.
  9. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    Thanks Miss Prissy for that advise. I had been getting 4 or 5 eggs a day and about 1 week ago, no more. The funny thing is that I am seeing no signs in the nest box of broken egg, yolk, anything. I am getting them some grit today. Without seeing any evidence, I was trying to figure out to determine who if anyone is eatting eggs. I will check their beaks today.
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    ThreeBoysChicks - if they have exposure to the ground and sand and dirt and tiny pebbles you don't need to buy grit. Grit is for grinding food in the gizzard and nothing more.

    This time of year hens slow down and do stop laying. One average most hens lay 240 - 265 eggs a year. They have lots of down time. They need it to rejuvinate their bodies, regrow feathers and to gear up for the egg laying season that starts in late winter for spring chicks.

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