My hen keeps cracking a hole in her egg with her beak- HOW DO I MAKE HER STOP?!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SqueakyRoseShalom, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. SqueakyRoseShalom

    SqueakyRoseShalom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one sweet, pretty Ameracauna who has just started laying 6 weeks ago. About 3 weeks ago, there was a perfect hole cracked in the end of her egg. This has been going on ever since, and it's really bugging me! [​IMG] It's such a pretty egg! Any ideas on how to make her stop doing this? I assume that she is doing this herself because the hole is beak size and it is not like a gently mushed in crack that you might get if two eggs knocked together or even when you crack open an egg. It's one small piece of shell that is cleanly cracked and pushed in, as if hanging on by an edge.

    My other question is can I still eat the egg? There is an inner seal that is not broken. I have eaten it a couple of times and not gotten sick or anything, but I just read last night how easily eggs can become contaminated and I wonder if it is worth the risk? i hate to waste one of my few, precious eggs, and I have been putting the cracked egg right in the fridge when I collect them and then eating it the next morning, but now I'm hesitating. [​IMG] Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are eating them the next morning, you'll be fine.
    Are her egg shells weak? You might want to look at adding some free choice oyster shell to help strengthen them. You might look into a roll-away nest if it continues and you are unable to fetch the egg as soon as she's laid it.
     
  3. SqueakyRoseShalom

    SqueakyRoseShalom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess that I should've mentioned that I'm pregnant and that's why I started hesitating. Does that make a difference as to whether or not I should eat the egg? The shell is not weak, but maybe I'll give some oyster shell a try anyway. In the past when I've offered it, I had to crack the egg twice to open it. [​IMG]

    A roll-away nest? Is that something I can buy? My hubby and I spent two months building the coop and I'm not up for remodeling right now [​IMG] haha
     
  4. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt you'd get a large enough bacteria load to make you ill, but since you're pregnant, if it concerns you, toss the egg. Better safe than sorry!
    A roll away nest sets the floor of the nest box at an angle so the egg will roll to the back of the nest after it's laid. It has a back wall just high enough off the floor of the nest for the egg to roll under, thereby making it almost impossible for the chicken to peck at the egg. It wouldn't be a major re-model, but it will be work! You might be able to buy them. I don't know, I've made all my chicken stuff from scraps. (which is why my coop looks like dr seuss built it)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  5. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Dr Suess inspired coops.. LOL. I am going to have to try that!

    I had a hen that kept cracking her egg every time she got out of the nest... She did it with her feet, not her beak... Anyway, I started feeding their shells back to them busted up, and with in a week or 2, no more cracked eggs. If she's pecking her shell, she might be needing more calcium.
     
  6. peepmommy

    peepmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like something I just went through recently. My hen was putting a little hole on top of every egg! I found that her shells weren't as hard as the rest. Apparently hens will do this to test the strength of the egg. I have eaten all of them (I am also pregnant), but I always cook them hard! Either hard boiled or hard fried. I've given up on all soft eggs for now. Anyway, for the hen, do you feed them free choice oyster shell? I gave mine oyster mixed in with their food, but it wasn't enough. After I started the free choice, the holes stopped! [​IMG]
     
  7. If you don't want to eat them, scramble them and feed them back to the chickens. We have a "cracked" carton for any that need to go there, but since none of us are pregnant, we usually eat them if it's a minor issue and the membrane, of course, is still intact.

    One thing we've found is that having *a lot* of bedding in the nesting box helps, because they like to scratch around before laying. If you think she needs the calcium, add some oyster shell to her food and always feed the shells back..................
     
  8. SqueakyRoseShalom

    SqueakyRoseShalom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it worked! I started feeding my flock free choice oyster shell and the very same day, no more holes!! and the eggs shells have not been too thick, either[​IMG]. THANK YOU EVERYONE! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  9. goneChickenin

    goneChickenin New Egg

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    I came across this post via Google search. I have had 3 eggs now with a crack/dent/hole on the very top of the egg. Neither times was there actually any she'll missing or the inner skin punctured. The cracked she'll always still hung on to the egg. I have welsummers, and I figured that it may be their spur punching the dent/hole into the egg? I don't know. I've also wondered if they were still edible. We don't refrigerate our eggs. Also I've always been worried about feeding them their shells back. I'm afraid they will get a taste for shells and start eating their own [​IMG]
     
  10. goneChickenin

    goneChickenin New Egg

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    [​IMG]


    This is my egg, and the other two looked the same.
     

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