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Is this signs of egg eating?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AngryBabs, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. AngryBabs

    AngryBabs Hatching

    Oct 3, 2016
    Hazel Park, Michigan
    So, my girls behavior started changing. I was getting 3 eggs a day (I have three 29 week old Isa Browns). They were noticeably different egg sizes so I figured it was one from each. I would occasionally only get 2 eggs a day but usually 3.

    Three or four weeks ago it started to vary more - two eggs some days, three another. A few weeks ago we got a day with only one egg. Since, we have had random 1 egg days, with mostly 2 eggs. Around that same time we would find the very occasional egg in the run (3 in total over the last 30 days) and one on the coop floor.

    Then, Friday I found what appears to be crushed eggs in the nesting boxes:


    Is someone eating eggs possibly?

    Also, about the same time, they started kicking the straw I used as bedding out of the nesting boxes. They do it as fast as I can put it in. I do use sand on the floor of the coop and run, not sure if that's relevant.

    Any ideas on what I can do to figure out why they are acting differently. And what can I do to check out who laying and who isn't. I may have to do a weekend morning stakeout...

    I actually put a camera in there last weekend, but the signal isn't strong enough to connect to my wireless network. I was going to watch them and see if I could see anything, but so far that hasn't worked.

    I haven't found any more shells or egg mess since then, but eggs have been 2 per day all weekend and today.

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    It could be but they usually seem to eat the shells as well. And once they start they usually keep at it day after day. I wonder if one of your girls is just laying thin shelled eggs and they are crushing as they are getting pushed out or asked on in the laying box and breaking. Might examine their bums for egg residue.
  3. AngryBabs

    AngryBabs Hatching

    Oct 3, 2016
    Hazel Park, Michigan
    I just checked them. Two are clear, the third one however had a fair amount of poop stuck to her with what appears to be straw in the mix. I also just observed her eating straw and grit. I tried to gently tug on the poop to see if was stuck, and it seems almost glued on - is this possibly egg residue?

    I did notice one of the clean chickens did have a very very small amount of what appeared to be blood below her vent. So little it was almost not there, but I could see it. I checked all their vents and they looked like "normal" as far as I could tell from my reading etc.

    As a side note, those shells seemed pretty strong when I was playing with them, but then again they could have hardened after the fact, I don't know.

    I didn't get pics, I was solo so I couldn't.

    I did get the camera working, so I or my wife will be checking on them tomorrow when were at work to see who does what. Hopefully that sheds some light on it.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That is odd....usually they eat the shell/membrane right up.
    How old are these birds?

    You might have to soak the dirty butt in a warm bath to get it cleaned off.....
    ......or trim the feathers to get most of it off then maybe a soak in a dishpan just deep enough to wet the mess until it softens.
  5. AngryBabs

    AngryBabs Hatching

    Oct 3, 2016
    Hazel Park, Michigan
    These birds are going on 30 weeks old.

    We've been working at the poop with warm water in small steps and its coming off. She is pooping so I think its mostly just on the feathers, but we are addressing none the less.

    Actually, the poop butt helped us identify which chicken is laying the larger lighter color eggs, so thats good.

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