They were eating the egg! I am so angry!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rizq, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    [​IMG] I have been frustrated with my kinda Serama hen, Smudge, because she keeps laying on the wire and I thought her eggs were falling through and breaking on the ground. I was getting ready to modify her pen so the eggs wouldn't drop through, I just haven't been able to get to it yet.

    Well, today I discovered what was really happening. The eggs are NOT dropping through to the ground. Only the shell drops to the ground AFTER SHE AND THE ROOSTER EAT THE EGG [​IMG] [​IMG] I caught them in the act today, happily pecking away and slurping up the goods. I removed what was left of the egg and informed them that they are both dog food.

    I have had 3 eggs from her, laid in her box, that they didn't eat. There have been AT LEAST 5 eggs that I have found the remains of below the cage. She laid her first 2 eggs in the box. After that, all were on the wire and eaten, except yesterday. Yesterday she laid in the box and got the egg while it was still warm, so perhaps they would have gotten around to eating that one too, I don't know. Today I caught them eating the egg. I don't know for sure how many eggs I have lost, because I don't know the frequency of her lay. She laid her first 2 eggs one right after the other, and she laid both today and yesterday ... in between then (about 2 weeks) I have no idea how many eggs there were because I don't know how much of the shells they ate. I guess I now know why I never found the whole shell! :thun

    Is there any hope to get them to stop eating the eggs? Or do I need to follow through with my threat and cull them. I kinda like them and would rather not, but we don't have space to keep them just for the heck of it. I WON'T HAVE EGG EATERS! [​IMG]

    If I do just need to cull her, what about her "kids." I have her 3 eggs that I saved in my bator right now. Who knows if they'll hatch anyway, since they are pullet eggs, but if this is something genetic and not learned, I will just take them out now.

    Sorry this is long, rambling, and probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense ... I am just so mad at her right now [​IMG]
     
  2. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    USA
    Hello...I had a hen and roo doing the same thing, but not every time. I found out that when the egg was dropping, when it hit the wire floor it was cracking just a smidge, which caused them to peck at it and eat it. Once I placed good cushioned hay in there I haven't had the problem! Just a suggestion!
     
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I'm so sorry!

    The only fool-proof way I know of is to construct a nest box where the egg rolls out where they can't reach it. Since they lay on the wire, you'd have to tilt the whole floor of the cage so the eggs can roll out, like a battery-farm cage.

    Golf balls are supposed to discourage egg eaters from starting, but it might be too late for that.

    Good luck!
     
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hiya Becki - I'm probably not much help here because such a thing wouldn't make me mad at a bird nor would I even remotely consider offing one for doing this. Maybe you can try offering them other interesting things to eat to take their mind off the egg thing. Such as sunflower seed that you scatter about so they can get busy with a treasure hunt, and/or other yummy healthy goodies. Something that makes them want to get on with the day, and not focus on the egg.
    Or somehow change the routine or set up so that the pattern can possibly be broken (and not just the egg!). Regular chicken food is just so dull and boring and they've discovered something that isn't! JJ
     
  5. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    I wish she wouldn't lay on the wire. She has a perfectly good little chicken house on the end of her pen with a nice deep layer of pine shavings.

    Regardless, I would be more willing to go out of my way for her if she was a sweet little chicken. She's pretty, but she's not friendly ... not mean, just not friendly either.
     
  6. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    Quote:If I had room for them to be here and just be chickens in their own little world, I would just put the trouble makers in their own little pen and let them be chickens. However, I have very limited space (and budget) so they must earn their keep or they go (there are exceptions ... I have to admit I have favorites that will stay no matter what).

    They do get a wild bird seed mix (which the LOVE) daily. I feed them some from my hand and then scatter some in their box for them to scratch around and find. They may still be bored. Maybe I need to find something else for them to do. Eventually I will have a pen to rotate the small guys to so they can have some time on the ground to scratch around and be chickens in the dirt ... just have to figure out where to put it and how to keep them safe. They also have to chill out so I can catch them without having to corner them and give them a heart attack.

    Anyway, I will try to give them a chance, but they need to turn around fast and stop eating eggs!
     
  7. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    Quote:How do you construct such a box? Would you simply slope the floor and have the egg roll into an enclosed space? If I could convince her to consistently lay in the box, this might work ... unless her kids are apt to be egg eaters.
     
  8. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2007
    Sorry about the egg eating problem![​IMG]

    I read a thread once here in the forum that a member put hot tobasco sauce, mustard and many more different hot liquids in the egg, and gave it to her egg-eating rooster. When the rooster ate it, he got all crazy and almost fainted because of the extreme heat, but eventually got his egg-eating habit cured. This might work for you too!

    I also read that putting golf balls in the nest boxes(or wire) will make them peck at it and they will think that these eggs will only give them stiff-necks, and might give up the egg-eating habit.

    I hope this helps though! Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  9. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    Hmmm ... interesting ... I might have to try the hot sauce in a blown out egg idea. What better way than to teach them that eggs are NASTY! That might even be kinda fun to watch.

    I'll try to catch the next egg she lays before they eat it and give this a try.

    Thanks!
     

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