Patsy LOVES a fresh egg!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jessie_Jazz, May 10, 2011.

  1. Jessie_Jazz

    Jessie_Jazz Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Suffolk UK
    Ok I have a problem with one of my chickens, and wondered if anyone had some advice for me.

    I'm gonna start at the beginning in the hope of getting the best advice on the basis of the whole story, forgive me if I waffle....

    I have 3 ex battery hens and Patsy, probably about 2 years old, likes the taste of her own eggs. A few months ago I found a wobbly egg in the nest box (without a shell) even though oyster shell is available. Since then I have had quite a few strange eggs. a few more wobblers and ones with thin shells and quite often I would get what I called 'brain eggs' their shells were thick and hard with a bumpy surface (looked like a brain) though these have now stopped.

    So I think this is why she started eating eggs, becuase they broke easily. But she will only eat her own eggs; one of the others can lay an egg and it will sit in the box all day if I am at work and she wont touch it. I saw her go in the nest box the other day and waited and watched, hoping to take out the egg before she could eat it. But I didnt want to open it too early and scare her off the next. I heard her pecking and (stupidly) thought she was eating oyster shell from the floor but no! she was eating her newly laid egg.

    So... I followed some advice I saw in here and filled an egg shell with mashed potato and mustard and put it in the nest box. It sat in there for a couple of days (meanwhile Patsy laid another egg and ate that) then it completely disappeared! I was convinced someone must have taken the egg from the box. It wasn't until I cleaned out the coop yesterday that I found some eggshell with mustard seeds on it. Seems she really enjoyed it!
    She lays probably every 2 or 3 days but its very rare that I get the egg, she will eat it as soon as she's laid it. The other girls don't join in but will peck at the bedding if it has any traces of egg on it when they go in.

    I really want to stop this happening, but I now don't know how to. Should I try to harden up the eggs so she cant peck them open so easily or try to stop the pecking behaviour?

    Help please!
     
  2. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    I'll be honest and say I think you're probably stuck not getting an egg from her, ever, if she eats them as soon as she lays them. From what I've read from others on here, you're lucky that she only eats her eggs and not the other eggs, too. I'd be worried that from the bits lying around afterwards that the other chickens might get the idea that eggs are good and start up eating them, too. I've never had an egg eater, so haven't tried to break one from it, but honestly, I don't see how you'll be able to get her to stop. If she starts eating the others' eggs you'll probably have to separate her.
     
  3. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    you should get (or make) a roll-away nest box. the hen lays an egg and it rolls to the back of the nest box, behind a wall where she can't get to it.
     
  4. Jessie_Jazz

    Jessie_Jazz Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Suffolk UK
    Quote:I had thought about that, I have external nest boxes on my home-built coop. Is there an easy way to alter them?
     
  5. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    hmm...that i wouldn't know. i once made a roll-away out of a rubbermaid box that you buy at wal-mart. it's hard to explain....but i just cut a couple parallel slits near the back of the box and slid a divider in it, but made sure it was high enough off the bottom of the box to allow an egg to roll back there. and then i used some flat rocks (or u could use some old books) to elevate the front end of it so the egg would roll to the back. i know you'd have to start with putting straw in the nest at first, then gradually take the straw away and put some other type of flat bedding in there to allow the egg to roll (it won't roll with the straw in there). i would confine her with this box if possible so she'd be forced to lay in there. once she lays her egg for the day, then she can join the rest of the flock for the rest of the day. then the next day, it's back to confinement till she lays. if she doesn't lay that day, i would keep her confined till she does, even if it's a couple days. it's just gonna take some experimenting. but i would not allow her to keep eating her own egg cuz egg eating is contagious and you don't want your flock to follow suit. good luck and let us know how it turns out.
     

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