OMG!!! Did They Eat it???

Cel45

Songster
Oct 28, 2015
663
65
139
Houston, Tx
Good afternoon all!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have a mystery on my hands. I will use some pictures to help you along. One of our pullets, Tilly (daughter named her) has come of age. Below is a pic of her I posted awhile back when she was 20 weeks old:


The next is her just before 24 weeks old:

Her comb and wattles are even larger this morning. They turned 24 weeks old on Sunday. Tilly started squatting for me the day after Thanksgiving. This morning, she did not come out of the coop and she was pecking around in the corner which now has a cleared off area, which was not there yesterday. When I went to clean the poop out, which I do every morning before work, I found this:

It was not in the corner where she was pecking around. In person, it looked like albumen, but in the pic, it looks like there is yolk too. I just noticed that Tilly has some material below her vent. So, what do you think? Did she lay an egg and eat it? Did she just pass the liquid parts? It was below the roost, hence the other goodies in the pic. I found no egg shell at all. I worked late yesterday and they are already in the roost when I got home and my son closed them up. Any insight from the more experienced would be very welcome.

--Chuck
 

Free Spirit

The Chiarian
Oct 21, 2015
637
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108
NWA
Looks like she (or another hen) ate it. It happens sometimes. Does she get layer feed and are you supplying oyster shell (supplies extra available calcium) free choice in a separate dish?

One reason some hens eat eggs is because they need more calcium and the egg shells (made from calcium) are eaten. Though they will eat the any part of the egg too because it contains protein.

You said she had material on her vent. Was it egg parts? Is she is acting strangely? If so, then you may need to do a vent check to ensure that there was not a broken egg laid and that any remaining shell is not lodged in her vent. If not, then it's possible any egg parts will pass through on their own. Likely she simply ate the egg and you'll need to find out why. Determine if she is getting the right feed, oyster shells are supplied 24/7 separately, or was it because she is a new layer and was confused. New layers sometimes do that even if getting the right feed.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Premium Feather Member
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Jul 16, 2015
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Anything is just a guess, but when chickens eat eggs usually the shell gets consumed first and thoroughly then they pick at the other stuff the best they can. Floor eggs can be up for grabs where nest eggs can be left alone, cracked eggs also get eaten. So what happened to yours I can't say, but it's normal for some initial goofy behavior from first time layers, I wouldn't get too concerned unless there are eggs being eaten out of the nestboxes, you can tell by goop in the boxes or dried yolk on other eggs or on the fake eggs.
 

donrae

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I'm thinking she had egg incontinence of a shell-less egg from the roost. With that much goo, I'm not sure anyone ate much, if any. When my birds eat eggs, they clean up pretty much all the innards and leave the shell for last. New layers shouldn't be calcium deficient enough they'd devour a shell and leave the egg itself.

New layers do a lot of weird things. I'd just keep an eye on her and see how she's doing. If she's alert, active, eating well then all's good. It may take a few days for her system to kick out another egg, or you may have a perfect egg tomorrow. No telling.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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It occurred to me that donrae is correct about the shells, it's my muscovy hens that fight over egg shells for some reason, and clean them up quickly, not the hens.
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
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Apr 11, 2011
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She could have. Maybe she laid a soft shell or it broke if she laid it from the roost. Either way, I wouldn't be too concerned about it at this point :)
 

Cel45

Songster
Oct 28, 2015
663
65
139
Houston, Tx
Yes, they are on layer crumbles, have oyster shell available 24/7, and clean water. Part of the problem is that they are in a temporary converted rabbit hutch and as a result the nest (only two pullets) is stand alone from the coop. They have been messing around in the nest. I am currently building a larger coop, but it is slow going as I am working two jobs.
 

Cel45

Songster
Oct 28, 2015
663
65
139
Houston, Tx
Thanks, she seems fine, scratching around and very hungry and active. I will watch her. Hopefully it is just a fluke.
 

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