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Pecking holes in eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gort, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. gort

    gort New Egg

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    Jun 17, 2008
    I have chickens that are mature and have started pecking holes in the eggs before I can collect them. I give them oyster shell. Is there anything I can do to stop them short of figuring out who is doing it and [​IMG]
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Are they eating them or just pecking a hole and leaving it. Are you sure it is not a toe puncture though the shell? If it's not a vitamin D and calcium defficency causing softer shells, then could it be that there are too many eggs or not enough places for the girls to lay so they fight over the best spot?
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Im in early with this one, so let me make a warning:

    Youre gonna hear everything from insufficient protein in their diet to various vitamin deficiencies to soft eggshells to phases of the moon given as reasons for the picking. It gets pretty entertaining, sometimes.

    But, if the shells are sufficiently hard, and IF they are pecking them, they will soon be eating them. It doesn't matter why really; The Inner Joys of the Egg are not long in coming... and once that starts it's a downward spiral. Boring, I know.

    The solutions people will suggest are equally as lurid as some of the reasons for egg picking they tell. Again, what works is kinda boring:

    Keep the nests darkened with a curtain - chickens dont move around much in the dark and they dont eat in the dark, either. Ergo they cant damage eggs or see to pick at them.

    Use plenty of soft bedding in the nest - this way of they do move around a bit, they arent likely to damage anything.

    Collect eggs early - the sooner the better.

    If needs be, resort to a rollaway nest - taking the egg away from the bird as soon as it's laid is the final solution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2008
  4. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    Good advice elderoo. I have had this problem in the past and didn't know how to handle it. Thanks.
     
  5. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    The Inner Joys of the Egg are not long in coming

    I sooooo love the way you word things..always makes me smile, lol!!! Golf balls help too..they seemed to deter whoever pecked into and ate the inner joys of 3 of mine a few weeks ago!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Golfballs again. Hmmmmm... have to try that.
     
  7. gort

    gort New Egg

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    Jun 17, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. I will add bedding. I have 4 hens and 8 nest boxes for them. sometimes I find two hens in one box. go figure. I have an extra 6 boxes I guess I will mount them too. I will also try the golf balls. Oh by the way they are pecking the holes and eating the innerds.

    someone told me it was because i give them back the shells. Is that true.

    gort
     
  8. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can assure you it was nothing you did. Feeding back crushed shells is fine; i refuse to believe a chicken can tell a shell fragment came from a whole egg! There are also a lot of people who feed egg shells and do not have egg eaters and vice versa. I agree that diet deficiencies are also unlikely unless you are treating the hens pretty badly which is unlikely since you are spending time on a pet chicken web site!

    Collect the eggs early and often and if you can figure out who is doing it and can cull her it would be a good idea. The point of the golf ball is to train them to lay in the nests and it works for most folks. How that prevents egg eating I don't know, but if it works go for it.
     

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