To Cull or not to Cull?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RoosterCogburn7, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231 Premium Member

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    One of the chickens was caught pecking at an egg in the nest. She was caught before she could consume it. I am concerned this will lead to egg eating, and I will end up having to eat her.
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some chickens can be retrained so if she is a good layer or you like her, you may want to try that first. Sometimes it helps to separate the culprit from the flock. Collect eggs as often as possible. Set her up. Take an egg and blow out the contents. Then fill with a spicy mixture of mustard. You can also put golf balls in the nest. With either they get no satisfaction from pecking and eating the egg so they stop.
    I'm only read about this. Some say it works. Some say it doesn't, but it might be worth a try.
    I did put golf balls in the nest when a few of the younger hens were laying their eggs in a corner of the coop and they worked for that.
     
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she molting or under some sort of extra stress? What do you feed her...type of feed, scraps, treats, estimated amounts of all the foods?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would make sure that your chickens have plenty of protein in their diets, and some crushed oyster shell always available. I would not cull her since she may just be needing more nutrients. Some chickens are inquisitive, and will peck at eggs occasionally if they are bored. I occasionally find a broken egg in a nest box, but it doesn't happen every day. I do try to retrieve eggs often, so they are not sitting in the nest box to tempt them.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My same thinking. If the OP is feeding 16% layer feed and feeding lots of low protein scraps and treats, scratch, etc, then the egg pecking hen may be needing extra protein.
     
  6. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231 Premium Member

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    They are having a minor molt. They are allowed to free range regularly, and are on a diet of egg layer crumbles at the moment.
     
  7. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231 Premium Member

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    The eggs are retrieved daily. They do get broody on them for awhile, and each nesting box has a wooden egg.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
  9. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with @aart - most likely a protien issue.


    As regards filling an egg with spicy mustard - there are a lot of chemicals that mammals have trouble with that birds are fine with - capsacin is an example - hot peppers aren't hot to birds. Most birds will eat mustard seeds (and I know chickens will) - so I'd be surprised if that actually bothers them.
     
  10. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure she was pecking it to crack it open and not just giving it a couple of exploratory pecks just to check it out?
     

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