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Update on egg eater - kind of

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stephanie R, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had several eggs broken over the last couple of weeks, and this morning I had another two. One in the nest box and one on the roost board. I think my Black Australorp is the culprit because this morning when I let them out I saw her pointy little head in one of the boxes, so I looked and there was an egg with a small indentation in it. She and my more immature Buff Orp (who I think is the one laying on the roost boards) are laying the eggs very very early in the morning before I get out there.

    The BA laid her first two or three eggs in the nest box and never bothered them, but then quit laying for about ten days. Or maybe she didn't and has been eating her eggs although I've seen no evidence. I'm out there 10 to 12 times a day.

    My BR and more mature BO lay in the morning usually, and those eggs are never bothered even if I leave them for hours.

    So I put my fake eggs back in the nest box. I know the trick of mustard or soap filled eggs tho I haven't tried that yet, they have plenty of calcium and very good feed with supplements. I think I'll start feeding them more animal protein and see if that helps.

    Any other ideas? I don't want to get rid of her since I only have four pullets.

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How many bird total and what ages?
    How big is coop (feet by feet) .. and run?

    Are the eaten eggs hard shelled or thin/soft?

    Fake eggs can help....filled eggs just make a mess.

    Exactly what and how feed and supplements are you using?
     
  3. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Four birds, between 24 and 26 weeks. Coop is 5 x 10. I feed Layena Layer feed supplemented with brewer's yeast, garlic powder, oats, probiotics, sea kelp, and dried herbs. They each eat between 1/2 cup and 2/3 cup a day. Their feeder is available to them all day, but I remove it at night. Oyster and egg shell free feed. They free range a couple of hours a day. All of the eggs are hard shelled ... really hard.

    I don't really want to use filled eggs for the very reason that they're messy.

    I think the birds are bored. The pecked eggs are being laid very early in the morning. I try to be out there by 6:00, but this morning I didn't make it until 6:30. I'm going to start letting them out a little earlier and see if I can circumvent their interest in the eggs.
     
  4. Bnemi

    Bnemi Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
    Bryan Ohio
    I got rid of 5 hens for this reason and they went to a farm of 50acs where they free range all day and reenter the coop at dusk. I know the farmer very well and he feeds them once in the morning with water available all day. He said he has never found a broken egg in the coop which is 6X6ft square with a community nesting area. I was shocked and upset I had given them away! I cannot however free range in my township here in OH. My conclusion to this story is that they simply were bored and turned to breaking eggs. I gave them everything you mentioned above and lettuce heads. I now am looking for 3 bantams for my 9ftX5ft coop and 16ft long X 8ft run. I hope to keep these little chickens interested in the toys and treats....
     
  5. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry. I would have been upset, too. My chicks get treats during the day. I always try to give them lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, squash, apple, peach, grapes (of course not all of this at once...I like to mix it up for them), as well as a bit of scratch, sunflower seeds, and mealworms. So I don't think it has anything to do with a deficiency in their diet, but more boredom, since the eggs laid after I've let them out aren't bothered at all. Just to be on the safe side, though, I think I will start supplementing with more animal protein like leftover chicken and fish, and scrambled eggs.

    Good luck with your next flock.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    1 person likes this.
  7. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sure worth a try. Thanks
     
  8. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    I should clarify that the supplements I add to their feed every day only amounts to 1.5 - 2 teaspoons in the 3 or so cups I put out every day, so I'm not convinced that their diet is unbalanced. But I'll give anything a try. They eat all but about 1/4 to 1/2 cup that I put out for them every day.

    Could I say every day any more times in those four sentences?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  9. Bnemi

    Bnemi Out Of The Brooder

    38
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    May 9, 2014
    Bryan Ohio
    Could I say every day any more times in those four sentences? Yes
    Example; But everyday I'll give anything a try. :)
     
  10. hellokittyfive

    hellokittyfive Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2015
    I had my 3 hens eating eggs for the better part of a year. I tried wooden eggs, filling them with soap, mustard, hot sauce, they ate them anyway! Finally my husband built a nest box where they roll into a little compartment that they can't get at and bingo! I started getting eggs again. They are 3.5 yrs old and I think they are winding down with laying but I still get some.

    My husband and I went round and round many times about culling them because I had 3 newbies to introduce to them over the summer. We just could not do that, they were perfectly healthy.

    So my advice to you is a rolling nest box if you can swap yours out. Good luck. I feel your frustration!
     

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