serious egg eating problem; need to protect them!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tvtaber, May 27, 2008.

  1. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, I have had it up to here (above my head) with my egg eating hens. I am certain the first one taught the others about it and now I have at least three (of 9) that are partaking. Any advice on building an egg roller of some sort that will protect the eggs from their makers?
     
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    I have no idea how to make something like that...wish I could help.


    Are they getting enough calcium? I would try giving them oyster shell because calcium deficiency is usually what causes this.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Do you collect your eggs several times a day? Have you increased their protein in their diet? Have you tried hanging a head of lettuce/cabbage even bagels to give them something to so? Most often egg eaters are missing something in their diet. Once the behavior is learned it is very hard to break. If you can't break it get rid of the hens. If you rehome them warn the buyer otherwise cull them.

    it is not a calcium defiency. It is more often a lack of good protein. Eggs are the filler for a lack of protein.
     
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Thanks MissPrissy....wow I was told they ate them because of the calcium good to know it is protein.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    even if they're not eating eggs to get calcium, if the eggshells are weak (from insufficient calcium) that can give them Ideas. Oh, look, this funny thing that came out of my bottom broke open, I wonder what the inside tastes like.

    If they're confirmed in the habit now, and/or if the eggshells are already very strong, calcium may not have anything to do with it... but for others, who are just experiencing the very beginning of egg eating where the eggs are rather fragile shelled to begin with... for them, I think it IS worthwhile making sure they've got free access to extra calcium sources. (Well, which they should probably have anyways, but you know what I mean).

    Try tossing them some meat scraps. Probably also can't hurt to put a couple of egg-shaped and -sized rocks in the nest boxes, in hopes they will bonk their nosie and become less enthusiastic about it... although your hens may be past that point by now.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  6. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've had oyster shell and layer feed in there for them 24/7 since they started laying, and they get table scraps and free range on the weekends (snakes, lizards, bugs, oh my!).

    What we don't do is collect eggs several times a day, because I work and the kids get them when they get home from school. Maybe we'll do better once we are out for the summer.

    Any thoughts on nest box design?
     
  7. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    what I did when I had this problem is put wooden eggs or golf balls in the nests, and frequently picked up eggs so they didn't get a chance to get the real ones. The hens gave up trying after a few days, and all was good:>) Darkening the nest boxes will also help. I hung black ground/weedcloth over the fronts of mine but so they could still get through
     
  8. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    You can try baiting them with eggs sprayed with "Bitter Apple" from pet stores. It's the most bitter substance on the Earth. Tried some myself and it was AWFUL! That might make the eggs less palatable for them.
     
  9. ozzie

    ozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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