chicken breaking eggs & eating

silkysacto(z8/9Sacramento)June 9, 2008

chicken breaking layed eggs & eating & messing up boxes. I can only save 1 egg a day, if I'm lucky in timing. I don't know which chicken is doing it - I only have 5, 2 aracana & 2 barred rock & 1 red rooster. I feed crumbled layer meal & chicken scratch and always add oyster shell. They have a great big outdoor pen, 6 layer boxes, 10 x 14 3-sided covered coop and heaps of vegatable & fruit waste, fresh lawn clippings & mulch to scratch around. It really should be heaven for chickens with no predator threat and since I wouldn't eat them they will presumably die of old age. What can I do to stop this behavior?

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Sacrifice an egg or two. Stand there and break an egg on the ground, and take note of who runs over first and gobbles it up. Also, see which part they go for first--if it's the shell, try offering more calcium, if it's the yolk, add more protein to their diet.

Also, add fun things to peck that take time to eat--raw corn on the cob, a cabbage on a string. It's food, entertainment and provides something to peck at.

Gather eggs numerous times a day, and think about switching to a nest that allows the eggs to roll away and be separated by wire from the birds--egg farms use them.

You also might try getting some marble eggs and leaving them in the nest, to teach the guilty party that they can't break every egg they see.

Often you need to try several or all of these things to hit on the one(s) that work. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:49PM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

You should try a Flock Block by Purina. It's a big block of see and other forage ingredients. It keeps them busy and interested. My hens go through one a month right now. I have the occasional egg eater too but haven't caught the guilty party.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:08AM
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I've had that problem with a few of my chickens too. I give mine a supplement of dry cat food and they no longer do that.

They LOVE canned cat food too! The sound of the spoon in the can brings them running! :)

I provide a light in their henhouse and give them the extra protein in the Fall and Winter when bugs are no longer plentiful, and they lay year round and don't moult.

More protein. Yum, yum, yum!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 8:18PM
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Break an egg and add alot of pepper, they won't like this. If problem continues for more than a week and they are properly fed, break an egg on floor of pen if one runs over and aggressively eats egg, pluck her roll her in pepper and flour and fry in 350 degree oil this always works.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 10:57AM
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Chris, now you're talking... I like that 350 degree oil solution. tastes good LOL :) But yea, sometimes you just need to do a little housecleaning. And whatever the anti-capital punishment people say, it is a deterent. I've never seen a chicken eat eggs once that solution was applied.
Amazingly, I have not had that problem whatsoever. But one thing I do is I feed them eggshells all the time, except NEVER EVER whole. I have a shredder in the chicken aviary and I throw kitchen scraps and eggshells in there and they get shredded to tiny pieces so it's not recognizable. If you put a cracked eggshell in there whole, then they might make the connection between their eggs and the shell being good to peck on and once they've done that, there probably is no easy way to reform them.... except of course through the KFC program.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 1:10PM
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Before the KFC method make sure nest box is away from feeder and private, I put a old towel in front of next box from top to about 3 inches from bottom. I hope this will help my problem. My pullets just started laying and I will get a broken egg about every 3 and appears to have been eaten. I only have 4 chickens and a rooster and am getting 2 or 3 eggs a day, for just started laying and 20 degree weather I think thats good. Egg shells are good and strong on the ones I eat.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 8:13PM
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Well, these last posts were sent to my email... Chris, you cracked me up! I gave away the chicken that I thought was the mean one but it turned out to be a skunk that had tunneled in to the coop. I saw the hole & thought it was a squirrel, so I set my Havaheart trap....but nooooo it was a skunk! Its such a long story on how I got it out of there... but I never lost another egg after I got that skunk. Thanks to all the good suggestions - I hope they have helped everyone. Merry Christmas to all you chicken lovers, especially the KFC fans :)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 8:28PM
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