Strange Behavior (I think)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ktladey, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. ktladey

    ktladey Hatching

    Oct 15, 2011
    Hi all,

    I'm new to the backyard chicken life. We built our coop this spring and have 6 chickens. 2 we got as laying hens and the other 4 we got as chicks. The 4 chicks have grown and are now laying (though we are pretty sure one is a rooster and therefore is not laying). We have 4 different laying boxes but only one is currently being used by all of our hens.

    The strange behavior I'm referring to is the fact that we've been finding broken eggs, or no eggs at all in the box. This morning, I discovered that one of our hens is eating the eggs. She was sitting in the box, with 3 broken eggs, and having herself quite a feast.

    Has anyone encountered this before? I would love any suggestions on how to stop this behavior as well as how to encourage our hens to use the other laying boxes availble to them.

    Thanks so much!

  2. Are you giving calcium, oyster shell, freely? I know that when I collected eggs for the neighbor, they'd eat an egg if it fell and cracked... It might be that the shells are to soft, and making a tempting meal. You could go out earlier in the day and try to catch the eggs before they are dinner? My girls haven't eaten any of their eggs... I haven't had that problem yet...

    Its not unusual for all the hens to decide to use just one favorite box to lay... I only have one nest box for 12 girls right now. But only 2 are laying...

    Welcome to BYC
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster 7 Years

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    First, [​IMG]

    Second: put plastic easter eggs, wooden eggs (like from craft store) or golf balls in nesting boxes to encourage the hens to lay where you want them to. Personally, I put three golf balls in each of our three nesting boxes - we have 5 pullets - and more likely than not, they lay in one of the three boxes OR in a pine-shaving nest directly under that nest box on the floor. [​IMG]

    I've even seen the girls 'waiting in line' for the favorite nest box - all lined up on the roosting bars - waiting like ladies! [​IMG]

    As for the egg eater...up in the right corner of the screen is a 'google search box' - put in 'egg eater' and see what comes up. This is beyond the scope of my knowlege - but wanted to give you some places to start.
  4. honda_DT

    honda_DT In the Brooder

    May 12, 2011

    I have one chicken that won't stop eating eggs every morning. I have only seen her eat one twice, but I've never seen her actually break the eggs with her beak. So I'm not sure if the other chickens are stepping on them and they break, which I've seen before. Or if they are eating them.

    What I did to try and stop it was put rocks or wooden or plastic eggs in the nest, painted brown (same as they lay), so that when the chicken tries to peck it, she will hurt her beak and therefore not want to eat eggs anymore. So far this technique has worked for me and i only see a broken egg every month or two.

    Best of luck.

    P.S. I have also heard that people will poke little holes in an egg, blow it out then fill it with hot mustard so that when the chicken pecks the egg she gets a nasty taste in her mouth and will associate that taste with eggs. I don't know how well this works and I wouldn't try it myself unless the egg breaking became a serious issue.

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