Why don't WE create something to solve this universal problem.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GOLDENSEABRIGHT, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. GOLDENSEABRIGHT

    GOLDENSEABRIGHT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay so we all have those individual hens that love eating their unborn babies.[​IMG] You look online and all you see is this fake egg idea that might work, i say this because it has never worked for neither me nor any of my chicken buddies.[​IMG] Another option is just wait and listen for the "egg call" hens give off when they lay eggs. [​IMG] That's too tacky and who wants to do that every day?? The last option is you take that individual chicken and put her into a either a freezer bag or a pot. But that causes you to be down a hen and egg production.[​IMG] What can we do to come up with a new alternate and efficient way to keep hens from busting their valuable eggs?[​IMG] In my opinion, there must be a way we can either build a nesting box that solves the problem or another way to wing the chicken(s) off the eggs.


     
  2. MattCox

    MattCox New Egg

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    Well, hens that break their eggs are typically deficient in some kind of nutrients; however, I do believe it becomes habit after the first couple are broken. It would be very beneficial if we could come up with a solution that would work.
     
  3. MattCox

    MattCox New Egg

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    An older gentleman once told me that he found one of his hens that were busting eggs was also broody. Once he set her, she stopped completely and the amount of eggs he gathered increased after she hatched and started laying again. Besides the point, he made the comment is that the trick is to isolate the hen and watch her. He said whenever he went out to feed and he found her pecking at the egg he would sprinkle water on her head to get her to back away. Maybe one option that may work. I don't know if it does personally but it does make sense because to get chickens to stop fighting you can pour water on them and they break up.
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    The answer is roll away nest boxes. They can be made as simply as a paint tray lined with artificial grass and the low end being covered by a box with a removable lid for you to collect the eggs.
     
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  5. Fluffers

    Fluffers Chillin' With My Peeps

    never really had this problem, sometimes they are too fragile though and they accidentally break them, i feed mine crushed oyster shell
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I've had a hen that regularly laid thin shelled eggs and they would get accidentally broken open and eaten but never any of the eggs with solid shells.
     
  7. MattCox

    MattCox New Egg

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    Well, wouldn't you have to rely on the egg rolling into the box, and wouldn't that box have to have a pretty long length so the chickens would not just roll it back out because i know for a fact that my chickens dig out almost every crack and crevasse there is?
     
  8. MattCox

    MattCox New Egg

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    And i also give my chickens crushed oyster shell on a regular basis and most of the eggshells i find are normal.
     
  9. RPClark

    RPClark Out Of The Brooder

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    Roll away nest boxes.

    After two egg-eating instances, I looked online and saw some pics of roll-aways, then fashioned my own from scrap plywood I had hanging around. I took a ceramic egg and did trial runs to get the slope of the floor right. It drops 3 1/2 inches over a 12 inch run.

    Floor for each box is covered with plastic door mat material that looks like grass.

    Occasionally they'll stick their heads down toward the collection point and try to peck at the eggs, but the new boxes eliminated almost all of the egg eating.

    The problem with culling is to make sure you got the real culprit. We have 14 layers, all of them brown egg layers. Figuring out who was doing the deed was going to be too hard and risky.

    At first, it looked like the sloped floor of the box would be very awkward, but the hens grew accustomed to it very quickly.

    We do offer free-choice oyster shell. They go through a regular amount of it. Pecking at eggs seems to be something our hens are more likely to do if they're confined to the coop and adjoining 12X12 outdoor run all day (we only free range on days we're home.) I've not experienced the hens going after egg shell to make up for calcium deficiency. They love to dig in our kitchen compost pile and there's plenty of egg shells there. They pretty much seem to leave them alone.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    IMO, the problem is thin egg shells. Increase their calcium intake, and those shells get tougher. I have recently started giving my flock some vitamins, and it has made a huge difference in their shell quality and egg size. Still have the occasional inquisitive pullet, but if the shell is thick, she won't get any satisfaction from her investigation pecks, and will move on to better games to play with her beak.

    Other considerations: Is the nest big enough? Can she move around without stepping on any previously laid eggs? Do you have many hens crowding into the same nest at the same time, and fighting over nest box rights? That can crack an egg. Do you have lots of inviting and soft bedding in the nest box, or is it "bottoming out"? I recently found (don't ask me how many years it took me to come to this discovery!) that if I line the nest box with more coarse hay, instead of fine hay, it does not bottom out as often. Perhaps a curtain to darken the boxes. "Out of sight, out of mind." Any weak egg is going to get eaten. That's instinctive behavior, and does not necessarily mean that you have a cannibal hen on your hands.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
    1 person likes this.

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