New Girls Crushing Old Girls' Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kanga2roos, May 21, 2008.

  1. kanga2roos

    kanga2roos New Egg

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    May 21, 2008
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    I inherited 6 hens two months ago... 3 of them are a couple years older than the other 3. It seems that the younger 3 are crushing the eggs of the older 3. (I would have thought it would be the opposite since the older 3 are at the top of the pecking order, but it's not.)

    Is there any way to help avoid this behaviour?

    Right now I find myself running out to check for eggs every spare moment, but on the days I am not home, we end up losing half of our eggs. Plus I have read that if they start eating raw eggs, they may start crushing all their eggs.

    Thanks![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2008
  2. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you feed them on layer's pellets, do they have grit and oyster shell, and do they have too many treats?
    It may be that the shells are too thin due to not enough calcium in their diet.
    This might affect the older hens more than the younger ones.
    Hope the situation improves.
     
  3. kanga2roos

    kanga2roos New Egg

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    May 21, 2008
    California
    Thanks Warren -- but I think the diet is fine -- the shells are all pretty sturdy. This is definately a turf war. In the beginning they would just peck the eggs and crack them, but now they are completely decimating them.

    One of the older hens is taking to laying on the eggs -- Maybe shes getting broody, but as soon as I open the coop to remove the eggs, she flies out. (3 days in a row now)
     
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    I have never known chickens to deliberately destroy another hens eggs in a 'turfwar.' They just do not work that way, they share nests naturally. The only time they get protective over a nest is when they are broody. Sounds like the problem is dietary, coop/nest box design, or you have egg-eaters.

    Try giving a little more calcium. I had hens cracking their eggs, but it was due to fine shells and then the eggs being stepped on. Give some more calcium and make sure the nest boxes are very well cushioned.

    Also, do you have enough nestboxes and are they big enough? Sometimes eggs can be stepped on if hens are fighting for the same nest box.

    If they are intentionally going into the nests and destroying eggs, you have egg eaters.

    -Kim
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  5. kanga2roos

    kanga2roos New Egg

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    May 21, 2008
    California
    Thanks! I will step up the calcium and see if it improves.
     

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