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Old 12-01-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Chickens eatting eggs!!

I have been thinking this for a while but now know they are eatting their own eggs! What can I do?! We have 16 Buff Orpingtons, all females, and spend 40 on feed a month (oaster shells, cracked corn and layer feed). They do not get too much corn, its just a filler. I give them ALL our scraps. We can not afford to spend more money on them PLUS buy 4 dozen eggs a week because they never lay. I am so frustrated. Has anyone ever been able to get them to stop even after they started? I think it started when we had two roasters this summer but we killed them (They attacked my 2 year old in the eye and back of the neck).

I cant go out there every 15 minutes to see if there is just one causing the trouble either... I have a 2 year old and a newborn and this weekend it is going to be almost zero out. We have to lights in their, one for just light and another by for heat. Any ideas?!

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

do this...












sorry no real advice, i did NOT know they did that though
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #3
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There are a few things you can do (unrelated to the egg eating) you don't need oyster shells unless you are getting soft eggs. You also don't need heat lamps. This might help with the money aspect.

For the egg eating you can try blowing out some eggs and filling with mustard, I hear they don't like that.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

Mustard in the eggs cured my one egg eater but firstly, what evidence are you seeing of egg eating, how many eggs do you think you are losing and how old are your hens? ETA: Also, have any of your hens moulted or are any in the process of moulting?

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lilbubs
Mustard in the eggs cured my one egg eater but firstly, what evidence are you seeing of egg eating, how many eggs do you think you are losing and how old are your hens? ETA: Also, have any of your hens moulted or are any in the process of moulting?
The winter really slows production. We used to get 5 or 6 eggs a day and now only 1 or 2.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

Roll away nesting box?
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

We had one egg eater, thankfully she recently died so I didn't have to try to figure out what to do with her since we tried everything to get her stop. Things I have read: golf balls in the nest, mustard filled eggs, wooden eggs, gather any eggs asap. We did all of this but she would still wait right beside a hen that was laying and break the egg as soon as it came out.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

Find out which one is eating eggs and eat her for dinner.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:35 PM   #9
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

I'm reading that it's often a hallmark of a worn out or old hen. Roll out nests would work but it's a diversion, it doesn't solve the problem. Given the chance she'd still do it and worse yet, she'll teach others to do it. I've learned the hard way that a hen with a problem like this almost isn't worth the trouble of trying to fix. I wish I'd culled my feather plucking hen long before she taught 2 others to do it. Almost like a virus, it's something that is spread within the flock. Live and learn but unfortunately some things chickens learn can't be UN-learned. I am told that the blinders (pinless peepers) I use on my serial feather pluckers will work to discourage egg eating too but that would probably be a last ditch attempt if it were me.

This time of the year there can be many causes, highest on that list would be a hard moult that caused a nutritional imbalance or some kind of environmental stress. Two things, they don't need a heat lamp unless your temps are hitting in the negatives regularly. With 16 hens, they have more than adequate heat among them and I would shut that off. Umphreysmommy is right, that's costing you a pretty penny in electricity you don't need and it's a huge fire hazard. Also, if done incorrectly supplemental lighting can have a negative effect by stressing them and halting laying and causing some stress behaviors such as feather plucking and egg eating. I just read a really good article done by the chicken chick on how and when to add supplemental lighting. I also learned something, they cannot tolerate the new type of lighting, it has to be incandescent light. They can see the fine flicker they emit while we cannot. Drives them crazy apparently!

Some links:

chicken blinders:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40

Chicken Chick article on lighting:
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/201...p-why-how.html

and on egg eating:
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/search?q=egg+eating
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:56 AM   #10
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Re: Chickens eatting eggs!!

We have had some egg eaters... we use golf balls in each nesting box & gather eggs a few times per day... or rather TRY to gather them because ours are barely laying right now too like others have said... but we do go out there 2xs a day. We haven't noticed any more signs of egg eating, so either they gave up or there just aren't enough eggs for them to get... we also lost a couple of hens, so perhaps THEY were our culprits?!

I also agree to no heat because not only is it costly, but it can lead to death in a power outage if they get chilled because then they wouldn't have their heat lamp.

I hope you get it taken care of! Right now we are also only getting an egg every other day or so... & I feel your pain of having to BUY eggs & feed chickens... it is just so stupid to me.

I have told my kids that since they don't want us to cull or to cull & eat our hens (which unless a hen is sick I wouldn't just cull a bird & not eat it because it is just not right), that to keep Mama happy & us having eggs to eat w/out a bunch of freeloaders in the back yard, we will give the hens away every few years for someone ELSE to eat them because I am done w/the whole permanent backyard residents thing. There are 6 left that are named from our original 8, & they have been pardoned... meaning they will be allowed to live until natural death (or by predator, etc.)... any newbies will have to be donated to another hungry family or else they will be consumed by ours !

DH & I would like to get a beef cow but seeing how we flopped miserably at the whole chicken as food after done laying concept w/the kids, we know not to dare get a cow because we will then have a 1,000+ lb PET .
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