YIKES! EGG EATERS?! :-(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cblakley0531, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. cblakley0531

    cblakley0531 Chillin' With My Peeps

    219
    2
    108
    May 14, 2011
    Shelton, WA
    My Coop
    Hey All!

    Tonight as I was cleaning out my mobile coop this evening around 8pm my time, I had the chickens locked out in the run. As I was cleaning it out, I noticed one of my chickens that I thought was a rooster, start acting "funny". Before I knew it, an egg hit the ground, broke open and it was an ALL OUT crazy feeding frenzy! :-(

    So many different things were going through my mind and I was officially freaked out that they all ate that egg so fast. My chickens have never messed with the eggs that are laid in the nesting boxes beforehand but the way they ate that egg so fast made me think that maybe this isn't the first time that an egg has been laid in the run before. I have three black Australorps that are of laying age. I'm only getting two eggs a day right now. A week ago I noticed a very odd wet spot on the ground like the one that was left today after that egg was demolished...but the first time I saw that spot, I had also just given the chickens some watermelon, which made me think that it belonged to their treat...but now I'm suspicious.

    Has anyone ever had chickens lay an egg in the run, have it eaten, but the chickens never turned into chronic egg eaters with the eggs in the nesting boxes? I hope that made sense.

    Also, if my hen really is laying her eggs in the run, how to do I fix that and get her to lay in the boxes?

    Thanks so much you guys! The support system here is just wonderful!!
     
  2. TheChips

    TheChips Chillin' With My Peeps

    289
    7
    83
    Sep 28, 2013
    "Has anyone ever had chickens lay an egg in the run, have it eaten, but the chickens never turned into chronic egg eaters with the eggs in the nesting boxes?"

    My americaunas do the same thing from time to time but arent chronic egg eaters. I do notice they do have laying problems and lay soft or semi hard shells. Which those usually get eaten, despite the fact they do have calcium in their feed.
     
  3. dvornholt1

    dvornholt1 New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Aug 11, 2014
    My chickens will attack a broken egg with gusto! It does kind of freak me out but they only bother broken eggs so far. None of them are actively breaking and eating any of the eggs. My chickens eat a lot of different things including a variety of vegetables and treats so at this point, I am inclined to treat the broken eggs as a treat. It's not uncommon for a hen to not lay an egg every single day so if you are just short one, that is probably the reason. If you start finding that you have no eggs when you go to collect them, then you have a problem!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,824
    6,973
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yep, broken eggs are fair game, I've found many a 'wet spot' if it's fresh enough you can even discern the yolks in it, especially if it happen in a straw filled nest......doesn't mean they will open an intact egg and eat it.

    If your layers are new to laying, sometimes it takes them awhile to figure out the 'oh here it comes better get to the nest'..... fake eggs in the nests can help.....or locking them in the coop until mid afternoons can help 'home' them to the nests.
     
  5. cblakley0531

    cblakley0531 Chillin' With My Peeps

    219
    2
    108
    May 14, 2011
    Shelton, WA
    My Coop
    Thank you all so much for your input! That particular hen that laid the egg in the run is, in fact, no longer laying in the nesting boxes :-( She was giving me the biggest eggs too!

    I love the idea of possibly keeping her locked in the coop for the first part of the day but unfortunately it's not easy for me to put the food and water in the run without help to lift the coop (should have put a door on the run when we constructed it, learning that the hard way now and hope to change that problem in the future).

    Do any of you guys have any other suggestions on how to get her back to laying in the nesting boxes? I'm hoping to try the fake egg thing but part of me is puzzled by that idea since she started out laying in the boxes, how can she all of a sudden "forget" where she needs to be again?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,824
    6,973
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not sure about the having to lift the run for food and water.....Leave them all locked in the coop.



    Do you have enough nests for the hens? About 1 nest per 4 hens.

    Have you checked the nests for any pests?

    Is she low hen, maybe being prevented from using nests?

    Just some thoughts.
     
  7. cblakley0531

    cblakley0531 Chillin' With My Peeps

    219
    2
    108
    May 14, 2011
    Shelton, WA
    My Coop
    I have one hen that lays right on the spot before 9am in the nest boxes. I have 2 nesting boxes for 5 hens. I checked the boxes and there doesn't seem to be pests, the other is laying in there daily. I don't believe she's a low hen. I've been spending a lot of time watching them and the "dominant" hen isn't even a layer yet so I'm not sure. I went out there tonight and found a nest under the roost on the coop floor - no egg - so I'm afraid the eggs are being eaten because they aren't in the boxes.

    So stinkin' frustrating :-( The thought of culling makes me sick. She was laying in there just fine for over a week from the first day she started then BAM - decided one day she didn't want to anymore :(

    Thank you so much for helping me out!

    I'm so just frustrated.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by