Possible Egg Eater

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chainedspider, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. chainedspider

    chainedspider Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2013
    Hi,

    I'm new to raising chickens and I think I may have an egg eater. My brood consists of 6 2 yr old hens (Brahma) that I bought from a breeder over a month ago (she was thinning her flock). These 6 hens have been laying since the day I got them, an average of 0-5 eggs a day. The rest of my brood consists of 8 young chicks, born from a breeder the beginning of May. 4 of these are Appenzeller's and 4 are Ancona. The chicks tend to stay clear of the 6 adults.

    Today I came home to find an egg sitting at the top of the ramp leading up to one of the nesting boxes. Normally the eggs are deeper in the nesting box but I thought maybe one of the hens accidentally kicked it when she went to lay (there was actually a hen in the box when I got there). When I picked up the egg, there was a big hole in one end and the shell was completely empty. There was no remnants of the egg's contents anywhere on the ramp or in the nesting box (the hen inside actually got up and turned around while I was there, so I checked).

    Any thoughts or suggestions? With 14 chickens, I don't know if it's one of the egg layers or one of the chicks.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    There is a nice article in the Leaning Center on dealing with egg eaters and things you can do to help prevent it. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/six-tips-on-breaking-your-egg-eater Make sure your nesting boxes are deep enough/ have enough of a lip in front to keep the eggs in as much as possible, so you don't wind up with broken floor eggs.

    One thing though, if you have crows/ ravens where you are and they can get in the coop they will sometimes steal and eat eggs, so will some other animals.
     
  3. MeghanChickLady

    MeghanChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I broke one of my hens by getting up earlier and taking the egg just after its laid, replacing it with a golfball. Once I had like three golfballs in the box, I left them there and just took the eggs right after they are laid. After a few weeks(two and a half) I took out the golfballs and returned to normal. No more eggs were eaten.
     
  4. chainedspider

    chainedspider Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2013
    I would think crow or other bird but the chickens are in the fruit orchard which has netting over the top. we have eagles and hawks here so didn't want the chickens being carried off by them (also, one of the adults we got has no tail because she was attacked by a crow before we got her). the other thing I thought of was possibly a snake. we do have garter snakes here although now that it's gotten really hot out, i haven't seen any lately.

    I just find it very odd that they just started eating eggs after we've already had them for a month. you'd think the behaviour would've started sooner. I am keeping an eye on them and going out there regularly to scoop up eggs. I've been doing that since we got them but today we just happened to go on a shopping trip for several hours.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far and any future ones :)
     
  5. MeghanChickLady

    MeghanChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2014
    Sometimes, a hen will try to push and egg out of the nest or break it elsewhere from the nest if she senses something "wrong" with it. This could also be the case. The yolk could have been broken outside the coop and dried in the sun. Im not sure, but its just a possibility.
     

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