nesting box question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by boomerge, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. boomerge

    boomerge Out Of The Brooder

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    I read on byc about someone having a problem whith a chicken eating her eggs. Today at wal-mart I saw a colender that looked as if it might solve the problem as it would be difficult for the hen to standup and peck the egg there . Has anyone used the shape of a colender for a nesting box? I would suggest if a hen is eating her eggs, possibility of them being soft-shelled? Or she might be upset about something,or lacking something in her diet?[​IMG]
     
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    A lot of times if a hen starts eating her eggs, she is lacking in protein.
    But once she satisfies her urge for nutritional supplementing, she finds they just plain taste good and she will eat them for pleasure.
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    A lot of times if a hen starts eating her eggs, she is lacking in protein.

    Actually there is dispute on this one. I can't imagine a chicken standing in the coop going, "Hmmmm, I'm low on protein so I think Ill eat one of these things coming from my butt."
    The old wisdom was more along the lines that the hen is an idiot and an opportunist.
    She is clumsy and breaks eggs, especially in poorly designed or maintained nests. Or, since the hen pecks at everything, she pecks at some bit of poo or clinging feather on an egg and cracks it open. Call it collateral damage.
    The whole of chickendom is full of accounts of hens that DONT lack protein in the diet, yet the egg eating begins anyway.
    A hen won't lay well unless she has sufficient protein in her diet to satisfy her bodily needs PLUS a surplus for the egg. If she's laying well, protein deficiencies arent the likeliest culprit.
    Some also assign the habit to boredom and eggs that are in the nest too long. So get her and them out once the laying is done.

    Regardless, one thing is certain - the egg isnt strong enough to withstand the assault. If you are looking to deficiencies, calcium deficiencies seem to be a more likely contributor on this score.​
     
  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Once again David is right.

    However, I stick to what I know and have observed, especially the fact that the last thing they eat is the shell AFTER they slurp up all the runny stuff.
     
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Sometimes, people feed their egg shells back to the flock to offer extra calcium. Good idea. Sometimes they dont crush them up and the hens get the egg eating idea that way. Bad idea. To remedy the calcium matter, keep oyster shell grit before them at all times. About as cheap as dirt itself, it is an effective way to remove the worry.

    I do agree with you, terrie. I believe, that if I was a chicken and got into an egg one way or another, I would be in clucker heaven. We're talking Hen Nirvana, here.

    Never the sentamentalist, your average hen will eat her own flock mates if conditions present themselves. Ditto the yummy, gooey inside of an egg. If I was a hen with 'egg on my face', so to speak, the shell might easily go un-noticed in all the feasting. Sort of like what you do with a banana peel.

    I just dont see the hen analysing her own deficiencies and deciding on eggeating as a remedy for her problems. That's our job.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    To answer the op's question. It's hard to say it would work as a nest box till you try it. I would say though, if the hen can get into it to lay an egg, and the egg doesnt roll away, she can stand out of the nest and eat the egg if she really wanted to.
     
  7. Bantammad

    Bantammad Out Of The Brooder

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  8. boomerge

    boomerge Out Of The Brooder

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    reply to silkiechicken : You are as preceptive as usual .I know she could turn around and eat it, but my thought was it just might break the habit as she was going between her legs and eating just the inside part. I appreciate every ones input.[​IMG]
     
  9. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I and many others have done well by putting golf balls in the nest box.

    It serves two purposes...the usual one is that the chickens think it's an egg so they'll lay all their eggs where you put the golfball.

    The second....if you have an egg eater...it will peck at the golf ball and get a little "bouncing" of their heads. Gathering real eggs as often as possible while trying to break the habit helps.

    If it's been happening for a long time, you could have one that has formed the habit. If that is the case, separating that chicken (and still using the golfball method) can speed up the process.

    Sandra
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I think David is right. WE had one hen eating eggs, and we are sure she was eating em cause she figured they weren't going to hatch. Once in a while, if they see them, they'll eat them, but it doesn't seem to be consistent. I think it is boredom; (and ours get plenty of protein)..but, in answer to your question...our hens like to nest in weird spots...pretty much anywhere but the nestboxes; probably cause a skunk murdered one of our hens while she was in the nestbox last spring. So,there was an old dishdrainer on some shelves in our barn, and, I decided to see if they'd use it...I stuck some straw in it, and they DID use it...and lo and behold, the eggs fall gently through and lie on the shelf underneath the dish rack, where they are held in place til someone picks them up. So there you go. Should I patent this, dya think?
     

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