Please help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by equinehugger3, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. equinehugger3

    equinehugger3 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2010
    Okay, so I have four chickens: One huuuuge mixed black hen - the dominant hen, one teeeny weird mix hen - next dominant, and two brahma bantams - one buff one black... Yeeeah I don't know how the colors matter but I put them on there anyway... [​IMG]

    So, anyway, I'm really freaked that the two dominants have been starving the other two! We hatched them, and we bought the brahmas like 2 months ago. Shouldn't they have merged together and stuff by now? The brahmas are always on the inside of the coop. (<--- More like trapped; the other two don't let them out [​IMG] ) The other two are always in the run unless it's raining or snowing or storming. When ever I let the dominants out, the other two run out and eat as fast as they can. I'm really afraid they'll starve. [​IMG] Today I opened the coop door, and found them eating a frozen egg! (I didn't check yet today, and it's been so cold that everything is frozen; they really like frozen oranges and mashed potatoes =] ) Is that healthy? I took it away because I don't know... I was also sorta disappointed because it was only our sixth egg ever, and our third from that chicken, in her life... Eggs have been exciting then. [​IMG]

    So, I will sum this up, I guess. When will my chicken stop being so mean to the new ones? And is is bad for them to eat eggs? They were REALLY going after the yolk... It's not like I'll feed eggs to my chickens,but I want to know if it's really bad... And how can I make sure they don't eat all my eggs before I get to them?

    THANKS! [​IMG]
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well seems as though you will always have egg eaters now. Because the other two have kept them away from the usual food supply they went for the only other avilable food source beside each other. Once an egg has been cracked open due to a situation similar to yours or a weak shell, etc. It's almost impossible to stop the behavior. As far as making more peace in your coop I just don't know what to say. I myself have problems with mine not coming out of the coop into the run so I throw them all out into the run(predator proof) weather permitting and lock them out. They can only go back in if the weather turns or at dusk. Perhaps try locking them all out together and let them back in on your terms. They sound fresh. Good Luck!
  3. RIBill

    RIBill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    I would put some food in the run. At the very least, if you can scatter some handfuls on the litter, at least they will get something. As for the egg eating, from what I have read, they will continue the behavior unless they can't get to the eggs. As a minimum, collect the eggs several times a day even when it's cold. Provide them some high protein treats and some in-the-coop distractions like a head of cabbage or an apple on a string. Hope for the best, but be prepared for chicken dinner.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You need to isolate the bullies for a few days and you need to have at least two feeders and waterers when you put them back. It will probably take 4 or 5 days of separation to shake up the pecking order enough. The bullies are the ones that should be removed.

    Mine occasionally eat an egg. I don't think I have an egg eater as such, I think they just get clumsy and step on one then eat it because it's there. Sometimes I even find an uneaten broken egg. Sometimes they will get discouraged if all they find is golf balls.

    Nothing wrong with feeding eggs back to your chickens, lots of people do it, I do it about once a week if I have them. Just cook them first. I scramble them because it's easy. It might be their favorite treat.

    In the end, if they are eating your eggs, you can build rollaway nests, or you can cull and replace them.
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    From what I gather from your post, your feed is in the run? If so, put another feeder in the coop for the brahmas.

    I know there are people that keep LF and bantams together and it can work, but obviously something is wrong with your situation. How long have they been together? Were the bantams added in later?

    Definitely don't let them eat raw eggs. It sounds like they are hungry, so they are going for whatever they can get. Adding another feeder will help with this. Whenever I integrate new babies in the flock, I always have 2 feeders so nobody is kept from the feed. It doesn't really matter who eats out of which feeder, it just helps with crowding.

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