Oh, no! Egg eating!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EggNV, May 23, 2017.

Tags:
  1. EggNV

    EggNV Out Of The Brooder

    17
    11
    29
    May 19, 2017
    Napa Valley, CA
    Oh, crap.

    Apparently one of our hens laid an egg in the run. Weird, really. They were roaming free and then during that time they went back into their run and someone laid IN the run. Haven't seen that happen. Anyway, how it was noticed is because they were pecking at something and, closer inspection, it was an egg they were devouring. Not good!!! Any thoughts? Suggestions?
     
    The Angry Hen likes this.
  2. The Angry Hen

    The Angry Hen Overrun With Chickens

    2,245
    6,788
    366
    Dec 17, 2016
    Maine. Yah, Anotha Mainah!
    Get a pack of golf balls or fake wooden/ceramic eggs.
    Place them in the nesting boxes, they'll learn!

    If they tap an egg, it will warn them.
    Because it won't break. Good luck!

    I hope this helps! ;)
    -The Angry Hen
     
    EggNV and Wickedchicken6 like this.
  3. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I had a similar problem recently (may still have, but at least it's under control). I went suddenly from 6-9 eggs a day to almost none. I can see a couple of them stopping every now and then, but all ten at the same time?

    What I did was to get a few porcelain eggs at TSC and put them into their nesting boxes; the chickens peck at them, get nothing for their efforts but a sore beak, give up. Also I changed my egg harvesting habits from once at the end of the day when I go out to clean their trays to three times a day; morning, when I feed them, afternoon, and evening as usual. I am once again averaging the usual 6-9.

    If you don't free range do your birds have something to occupy them? a large enough area to scratch? Are they getting enough feed? Protein? Calcium?
     
  4. Abriana

    Abriana Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,734
    1,460
    236
    Apr 26, 2017
    From my blue coop
    Take an empty egg shell and fill it with hot sauce. It won't take them long to learn! if you feed them eggs, hard boil them, and crush them into teeny pieces so that they can't tell that they are eggs. If you feed them raw eggs, don't show them the egg before you crush it and crush it small.
     
  5. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

    6,176
    6,823
    416
    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    Did the egg have a weak shell or was it a soft shell egg? Hens are opportunistic. If an egg is broken open...they'll eat it.

    I'm thinking like FlyWheel...are they getting a complete diet?

    I do things completely differently than everyone else one here. I feed raw eggs to my hens all the time, in their dishes...on the lawn. I feed them all the floor eggs, any day old set on eggs and any older eggs we can't keep up with. I feed a lot of eggs. Whether they're locked in the coop for months throughout the winter (they have no outside run) or whether they are free ranging like they are now, they have zero interest in eggs unless they know I'm feeding them.

    The only threat I've found feeding raw eggs is that I'm followed by a posse of hens when I'm in the yard...lol. I haven't seen feather picking since the first fall and there's been no blood picking, no picking at all) when there's been an opportunity.:confused:
     
    EggNV likes this.
  6. EggNV

    EggNV Out Of The Brooder

    17
    11
    29
    May 19, 2017
    Napa Valley, CA
    They've got coop run space of 8x3' and 4x2' hen house. They free-range on about 1/4 acre for about 4-5 hours of the day. I feed them Hunt & Behren's crumbles as a staple, and I supplement with what I call "chicken salad" in the early afternoon after they go back in the coop from their free range time - fresh broccoli, corn off the cob, strawberries, banana, radish tops, celery, cantaloupe, etc etc etc. in the evening, after they go back in from their second free ranging time, they get some mealworms and crickets (freeze dried treats). I just added yogurt today and they loved it.

    I'm getting recommends from people to change my feed to Layena. Protein definitely might be the issue here? I'm not sure about the weak egg shell as they were pretty much done with it by the time I noticed.

    I'll pick up the "fake" eggs today from our feed store, for sure. But, I have a question? Since the egg I found was in the actual RUN and not in the nest box (weird, I've never seen an egg laid in the run before, but granted I haven't had them that long), should I put a fake egg or two in the run as well? Or just in the nest box?

    Thank you for all of your help!
     
    Wickedchicken6 likes this.
  7. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    5,500
    1,322
    306
    Apr 24, 2016
    Virginia
    I have an egg eating epidemic... I filled an egg with siracha sauce. They loved it. At least it seemed like they did anyway. They are eating eggs from under my broody hens, and I'm losing a lot.
     
  8. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

    6,176
    6,823
    416
    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    I would place the fake eggs in the nest boxes. I have golf balls in mine, not for them to peck (I've never seen them peck one) When mine see a golf ball, it's like "oh nice...there's the place to lay." It might help yours to lay in the nest box as well.

    Protein may be the cause. I'm not familiar with Layena but I looked it up. The hens can't pick the eggs if the shells are hard, and that feed does provide the calcium for the shells.

    Have you had any issues since?
     
  9. EggNV

    EggNV Out Of The Brooder

    17
    11
    29
    May 19, 2017
    Napa Valley, CA
    I heard a bit of advice about that from a local farm supply store owner here. He said to pop a little hole in an egg, drain the inside out, then fill with either dish soap (like Dawn), or mustard. Apparently, hot sauce is a no-go because, as you've found out, they love it. So weird! I would have never thought that! So sorry you're having a problem.
     
  10. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

    6,176
    6,823
    416
    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    That's extreme. I've never experienced that. Can you separate the broody hen from them?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by