Question and Concern.............

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by villnave, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. villnave

    villnave In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    My Silkie hen has been at my family's farm for almost a year with her "love master".(That is just to tell a part of information you may need when answering this.)
    My concern is she has been eating her OWN eggs quite frequently. Today, she ate her four egg in July.

    Question: is this NORMAL for a hen to do this with a rooster around or should she go bye-bye?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  2. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    I don't have an answer for you, but you might get more help if you post this question in the behavior/egg laying thread.
  3. PAChickenChick

    PAChickenChick Songster

    May 4, 2008
    I've read on here that Hens eat their own eggs when they aren't getting enough calcium. Is it possible that she isn't eating enough oyster shell or whatever you offer her for calcium?

    The other thing is that once they get a taste of raw egg...they like it, so you need to put an end to that.

    If you use the "search" tab up above and search for "eating eggs" you should get a ton of threads on this topic.

    Good Luck [​IMG]
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    She needs increased protein. Break the habit or she will eat every egg she sees. Make sure she has unlimited food. Give her high protein like gamebird feed, wet cat food, meat scraps etc.
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:It is not uncommmon, no. You'll hear a lot of 'reasons and remedies' for this occurrence. Here're mine. Take 'em for what they're worth.

    Calcium is only of importance in that if her eggshells are soft, then they break easier. Adding calcium wont stop the habit once its started. It will make her shells harder and so harder to break, but remember... she will still have time on her side. After all, what else does she have to do?

    Protein? Naw. It's not like she's smart enough to know that thing coming out of her rear is full of protein. I mean, can you see her standing around going, "Hmmmmm, Im protein deficient. I think I'll break open one of those big things coming out of my butt...."
    Adding more protein to her diet will possibly increase her ability to lay BETTER, but is unlikely to deter her once shes learned the Yumminess that is The Egg.

    It is my most humble opinion, that egg eating begins as a result of accidental breakage. The hen clomps around in the nest too much and accidentally breaks an egg, and being a chicken, she then gives it a test peck and.... well, Voila! egg eating has begun.

    SO what's to be done? Well, here's what I would suggest, were someone to ask me:

    1. Darken the nest
    Add a curtain across the front. Chickens don't like to eat, nor move around much, in the dark.
    Ergo, they dont peck at that which they cannot see nor do they stomp around and break eggs.

    2. Add a minimum 4" of soft clean litter to the nest.
    This cushions the egg and prevents the accidental breaking that comes of insufficient cushioning. Clean nests lead to eggs that dont have enticing specks of "stuff" on them to peck at...

    3. Remove eggs as soon as they are lain.
    The longer they remain in the nest, the longer she has to work on them.

    4. Replace real eggs with golf balls, ceramic eggs, etc.
    Once the real deal are gone and she blunts her beak working on the faux eggs, she may give up on the whole idea. I doubt it, but it's worth a shot.

    5. Add calcium
    Give a feeder of crushed oyster shell, free choice. If she goes for it, then she needed it. Her eggshells will likely get harder, which may help deter her, if for nothing more than she gives up. Again, I doubt it will BREAK the habit, however.
    Also ensure that she is getting an adequate diet of good feed and fresh water.

    6. Consider roll-away nests
    As the name implies, these roll the egg out of her reach once it has been lain. They can be purchased, but are costly. You can also make them out of scrap lumber for nearly nothing but your time, and so reduce the cost.

    7. Cull her (or rehome)
    This was the classic answer, back when people were less tolerant of foolishness from their animals. Egg eating ate into profits and/or livelihoods, and so wasn't tolerated. Little energy was expended in correcting the matter - they just got more hens or had enough already... one less wasn't an issue. There is strength in numbers, after all.

    ~~~~~~ - Oh, and I'd like to recommend that you NOT waste your time filling hollowed out eggs with red pepper, either. This is often touted, but it is fussy, time consuming work and mostly wasted effort. Chickens are like all birds and are little affected by peppers in any form**. It is a deliciously lurid idea, the sort everyone loves (probably why it is repeated so much!), but it is mostly hoo-doo.
    ** I used to have parrot, obtained in Mexico. His name was Jalepeno and it was a fitting name - he loved to eat jalapeno peppers, indeed ALL peppers. The hotter the better, he didn't care, because he wasn't affected by them!
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  6. villnave

    villnave In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    Thank you for everyone's input. I am thankful for you people to be on Earth.
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:That makes two of us, considering the alternatives.

    You're welcome.

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