new layers.. egg eating... day laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MadAussieInUSA, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. MadAussieInUSA

    MadAussieInUSA Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Yesterday we came home and someone had laid an egg (our first egg! yay)... but it had been pecked and eaten. We had been expecting pullet eggs since begining of jan.. and nothing until yesterday.. and this was a full sized egg.

    So today I was working from home (for a different reason) and checking up after a rain shower, one was nesting in the corner and working on it.. out pops an egg, it stuck to her bum and she walked around a few paces and it fell off... she immediatly pecked at it (curiosity?) so I snatched it up... (yay nice big brown egg!)

    If they all start laying during the day while we are at work I fear they will all get eaten and it is supposedly very hard thing to cure... I thought they laid eggs in the early hours of the morning rather than lunchtime. Maybe they are too new at this yet.

    I have two australorps + two barred plymouth rocs...

    anyone have any ideas for me....
     
  2. My chicken is cuter

    My chicken is cuter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    Sorry I can't help you, my hens never mess with the eggs.
     
  3. chickie momma di

    chickie momma di Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2008
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    congrats on your 1st edibble egg! [​IMG]
    my gracie started laying in the afternoon also. after a few weeks the times changed to arround 8:30 in the am. however when she went broody she went back to late afternoon. [​IMG]
    sorry i don't have any advise about the egg eating but maybe if you put some wooden eggs or golf balls or ceramic eggs (you get the idea right) in the nest they will find them hard and not attractive for food and maybe won't peck at the real ones.....
    just a thought.
    good luck
     
  4. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    YOu can add golf ball or wooden eggs. Some people have even put up curtins in the coop. Roll away nests are another option.
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
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    MadAussie, you have the same combination and number of pullets as I have at the moment.

    Very likely, you only have one pullet laying right now. From her observed behavior, you may have found the egg eater, as well.

    As new layers, the eggs may come at any time, in any location, and seemingly as a complete surprise to the pullet. If the "corner" is just a spot on the floor - you need to teach this pullet to use a nestbox.

    The nest is something of a "sacred" place. As long as it doesn't get messed up, the layers will treat it as somewhere special. And, it needs to be: quiet, secluded, dark, etc. Those qualities will keep the nestbox as a special place for laying eggs. The eggs are more likely to be untampered with if they are in the nest.

    Eggs in the open and on the floor are bad news. I think the best you can hope for is that they will be ignored as part of the landscape. Curiosity will often lead to pecking at these eggs and if they break . . . they will be eaten. Any broken egg will probably be eaten even by hens that would otherwise never break an egg.

    Quiet, secluded, and dark nestboxes (with a nest egg for added incentive) - you've gotta do it.

    Steve
     
  6. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awhile back, I had my chickens eat one or two eggs, and peck at two others through the shell but not through the membrane. So I'm not sure they had become bona fide "egg-eaters". What I did was to put 3 or 4 fake eggs in each nest box, and even a couple in the coop. Like others have said, evidently after the chickens unsuccessfully peck at the fake eggs they'll give up on the idea of pecking eggs. The best fake eggs I've found are those from Cracker Barrel . They have brown and white ceramic eggs that really look real. Shortly after I put them out in the nest boxes, I got an excited call from my DW and DD telling me we got 8 eggs (from our 8 chickens). Turns out several of them were fake ones! I don't think our chickens have eaten any more eggs since.
     
  7. MadAussieInUSA

    MadAussieInUSA Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    thanks for the info everyone. I put some black garbage back tapped over the entrance to the nest boxes with a slit up the middle. I thought if I used cloth it would get threaded/pecked at and probably damp...

    After I posted my initial post I had gone out an hour or so later and found another egg (in the nest box) so at least two are laying and one is using the nest box! the second egg was in the same place as the first broken egg....

    I now have oyster shell out for them if they want and switched from grower to layer (good thing I had just run out of grower too).

    exciting stuff [​IMG]
     

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