Is there anything else I can do to stop this egg eating?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by banananutmuffin, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. banananutmuffin

    banananutmuffin Out Of The Brooder

    I have a flock of five hens, four of which should be laying. Up until yesterday, they free ranged all day long. There are 2 nest boxes for the birds.

    I was averaging 1-2 eggs per day and couldn't figure out the deal. Didn't spy any nests in the areas they tended to congregate when they ranged. Then yesterday, Hubby discovered a broken egg shell. I theorized I might have an egg eater among the group. So we closed off the run so that now they are confined. I figured it would also help me determine how many chickens actually are laying.

    This morning in the coop I discovered another broken egg with no yolk/whites in sight. Egg eater suspicions were confirmed.

    I put out four wooden eggs in the nest boxes. The two chickens standing there immediately pecked the wooden eggs. So I am thinking most, if not all, of my flock are egg eaters.

    I have run out and looked for eggs five times today. So far, I've collected 3.

    My action response is the wooden eggs in the nest boxes and a couple of golf balls scattered in the coop, combined with checking regularly for eggs so I can remove them asap.

    I have heard of filling empty shells with mustard/hot sauce/bitter apple, but am holding off on that. A rolling nest box is not really possible given the design of the coop.

    Is there anything else I can do, given that I think most of my flock are egg eaters?
     
  2. FiFiFeather

    FiFiFeather Out Of The Brooder

    53
    0
    29
    Jul 21, 2011
    North Washtenaw County
    Can you separate the egg eaters? & retrain them (with luck)?

    Are they laying still? If the unlaying hen is eating, is she old or young?

    I have heard of several things you can do:
    up the calcium or other minerals in diet. Reduce treats.
    tilt nesting boxes so the eggs roll away from hens & they can't reach them.
    decoy eggs until they lose the urge to peck (this seems like a lot of effort)

    My last hen is just starting to lay at 23 weeks. So far she's laid 3 eggs ( I know of). One with a very fragile, thin shell & two with NO shell. I am hoping she pulls it together. I've started putting oyster shell in the feed. She's a picky eater. ugh. We got rid of the roo & all the hens are acting different, less hectic, lol (Poor girls!)
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Build a couple of roll away nest boxes, that's the only sure way to make sure none of the eggs are eaten. I saw plans for them on BYC not too awful long ago. I've never had an egg eating problem, so I dunno if the mustard eggs or any of that other stuff works or not. Good luck!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by