Nosy hen watches others lay, and egg eating! Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SluceableMocha, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    I currently have 3 adult hens, two Americaunas and one Australorpe. The Australorpe is about 2 years old now and the Americaunas are about 3 I think? They've finally all started laying pretty regularly this spring, but the Australorpe is eating eggs! I have suspected for a while that one of them was and I caught her red-beaked (yolk-beaked?) last night. I read that blowing an egg and filling it with mustard will help to deter egg eating, so I've got a mustard egg in the nesting box right now. Any other tips to curb egg eating?

    She's also the nosy one, and I thought it was cute at first because she's definitely the dominant one in the group, but now I'm wondering if she's hovering over the other two when they're laying so she can hop right up and eat the egg immediately, and that's why I'm only getting semi-regular eggs from all of them. Any thoughts on that? Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,863
    3,915
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If the mustard egg doesn't work, you may want to try a ceramic egg for a while. If that doesn't work, you may need to reevaluate that hen's place in your flock.
     
  3. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    I had some wooden eggs in there just to encourage laying IN the nesting box, because they also like to lay on the floor occasionally. I took them out when I did the mustard egg though. Maybe I'll put them back in.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,929
    9,470
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What and how exactly are you feeding?
     
  5. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    I make my own whole grain feed - I used a calculator online to make sure I've got the right protein percentage and it's right around 19.5%. I also feed calcium and grit free choice in separate containers and they free range in my back yard.
     
  6. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    I also feed freeze dried mealworms as a treat a few times a week, just a handful scattered on the ground or in the coop.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,929
    9,470
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do you add a poultry concentrate to the grains for the vitamins/minerals/amino acids?

    Adding more animal protein might help.
     
  8. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    Yes, my recipe is made up of oat groats, hard red and soft white wheat, flax seeds, whole corn, black sunflower seeds, green lentils, split green peas, and kelp powder. I stick the kelp powder onto the other grains with some coconut oil. I was previously also adding millet, but from what I could tell they weren't eating any of it so I stopped adding it. I feel like I might be forgetting an ingredient, but I'm out of the house so I can't check the list. And I have pregnancy brain, lol. I used Garden Betty's chicken feed calculator to calculate the amounts of each thing. Is there anything else I could add? I can't afford to add a ton of animal/insect protein, which is part of the reason I let them free range as well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by