Rampant Egg eating and pecking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farmergirl26, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 45+ hens, and they lay over 3 doz. a day. (SIDE NOTE: Is that a good amount?)

    Their egg eating is ATROCIOUS!! I have the following 3 problems:

    1) GIANT, thin shelled egg.
    I think there is only one hen who does this. The first time she did it, I cracked the MASSIVE egg, and it had another normal egg inside it! ew.. This happens every other day. The shell is varying in thickness, sometimes as thin as powder.

    I give them ample oyster shells, they live on the ground, and are let out of their run frequently to forage. What is she missing?

    The rest of my eggs are not so bad, though thinner than I used to have on non-organic Purina feed. (I now have Organic Modesto Milling).

    2) Pecked eggs
    Up to 1/3 pecked every day! :mad:

    3) Eaten eggs
    3-6 eaten every day!!

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    I would love your comments on any of the above.

    Thank you soo much!

    ~Maria
     
  2. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 Out Of The Brooder

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    OH! I forgot to ask, have any of you experienced success with pecking prevention tips? I've tried curtains and cleanliness, but with no success. When I collect frequently it goes down by half at best.

    Thanks! xoxo
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is your coop and run and how many nests do they have?

    Stress is my first thought and not enough protein is my second thought.

    What else are you feeding them other than the organic feed (I assume it's free fed-always available) and what is it's protein percentage?

    Egg eating can start from stress and/or lack of nutrition, but can become a habit...roll away nests are about the only fool proof solution.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Finding out which hen is doing this is your other solution.
     
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first question also was how many do you have in what size pen? If they are all together that would have to be a really big area not to have pecking and egg eating problems.
     
  6. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds as thought it could be diet related. I'd up their protein for a while and see if it helps. Did they do the egg eating when they were on the Purina feed? If not, I'd switch back.
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Egg eating in my flock started when I stopped supplementing my hens with animal proteins. Installing rollaway nests helps with egg eating hens.......
     
  8. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the responses!

    30 sleep in a coop which is 111 square feet. It is crowded, but there are enough roosts for all of them, and enough nesting boxes as well. The run is around 600 sq. ft. The other coop has the same proportions, but 12 hens, 1 roo, and some bantams. I let those ones out much more frequently, but they have about the same ratio of eaten and pecked eggs. Even when I let all the chickens out at dawn and collect eggs 3 times a day, they peck an unconscionable amount. :p

    The feed is 16% protein. Since I let the large coop outside of their run less, I give them all our household scraps. About two small-ish buckets a day. The egg eating has always been bad. Now that I think of it it is worse with Modesto Milling feed. It is also gives them thin shells and yellow yolks. :/ Here's my other thread about their feed. I'd love responses to that as well. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...g-my-own-chicken-feed-discussion-very-welcome

    Thanks so much!

    Also, what is a rollaway box, and what is it good for?
     
  9. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 Out Of The Brooder

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    PS-
    Honestly, I didn't really want to switch to organic. However, I could not get customers for all my eggs until I made the switch.
     
  10. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, they are free-fed. Last summer was when I got them. I raised them with 20 meat birds, and their feeder was not big enough. I was not attentive enough, and they were constantly running out of food.

    Stressed for life, perhaps? D:
     

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