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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, Everyone!
I have a flock of about sixty (60) hens and two roosters. I used to get at least thirty (30) eggs a day, but within the last month production has really dropped. At first I thought it was because of the colder temperatures (I live in Wisconsin), but then I started finding partially eaten eggs or yoke on other eggs. I put golf balls in the nesting boxes as well as mustard-filled eggs, but so far there have been no results. I have never actually seen any hens eating the eggs, and even if I knew who was eating the eggs, I really would rather not kill the egg-eater(s). Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop this? Proven methods (other than culling)? I'm starting to get really desperate because I read that the longer egg-eating goes on, the harder it is to break.
 

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I had the same issue last week. I never did find the culprit but I only have 12 hens, not 60 to manage. I really can't help out much, I have the luxury of being able to constantly check on them. I practically took the eggs away as soon as they dropped them. I have done this for for 3 days now. I am hoping they will forget about it and move on. I was reading on an online blog about clipping the ends of the beaks of the culprits. Don't know if I could do it. I hope someone chimes in that can give you some better advice. Good luck
 

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Add more protien to their diet and more calcium. They may be eating them out of need.
No sure, just guessing.
 

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Mustard filled eggs, never heard of that trick before.

What is the thought behind it? Predators are turned off by mustard?
 

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I had a spell of egg eating last year.

I tried a number of things, don't know if any of them worked, but the egg eating stopped.

Mustard filled eggs, that was the first thing I tried. Got the advice here. I blew the contents out of enough eggs to put one filled egg in each nest. Tried liquid dishwashing soap, between the mustard and soap, man what a mess.

Wooden eggs, found some at a decorator store, bought a dozen or so added them to the nest.

increased calcium intake, using additional oystershell, green leafy vegetables and a calcium supplement added to their water.

Lowered the population density of my chicken run, I built another run, where roughly 1/2 of the chickens now reside.

Of all the things that I done, I believe lowering the population density was the most effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The mustard eggs are not necessarily for predators. The best kind of mustard to use is English mustard because it is the hottest. When the chickens break open an egg and eat the mustard instead of a yoke, it burns their tongues and sinuses. Thanks for the input, I will be sure to put it to use!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh! Also read something about giving them milk for three days stops egg eating. Does anyone know if/how that works? Again, thanks soooooo much for the input!!
 

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Ugh I went out to another half eaten egg this morning. I think I know the culprit, she is going into lock down tonight for a few days. I will see for sure if it is her and try to break her from the cycle.
 

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Have not tried this myself but read that by using food coloring mixed with soap inside a few eggs will leave a tale tale color on the offending chicken. Then you know who done it.;)
 

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farmhand said:
Have not tried this myself but read that by using food coloring mixed with soap inside a few eggs will leave a tale tale color on the offending chicken. Then you know who done it.;)
Oh, good idea. I may give that a try. Thanks
 

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Energyvet said:
Craving calcium? Check for coccidia too. I know mammals will crave Calcium if they have coccidia.
How would I check for that? They all seem to have normal poops. I think I have an overcrowding issue, that with the long winter here. They have been pecking each other as well. Thank god that we are on the downhill slide of winter and they are spending more time outside and out of their run.
 

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Run a fresh poo sample of hers to a vet. Tell them what you're thinking. Yes I agree that it also sounds like overcrowding. Not a good thing.
 

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Energyvet said:
Run a fresh poo sample of hers to a vet. Tell them what you're thinking. Yes I agree that it also sounds like overcrowding. Not a good thing.
No, it isn't. I was told my 8x8 coop would easily house 15. I have 12. I was told to pack them in for winter so they would keep warm. I am sure if we had a shorter winter it would be true. I have a 7x15 ft covered run as well. Now that it is warming up and snow us melting faster than its falling, they seem to be doing much better. Just have to babysit the nesting boxes to catch the egg eater/s.
 

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Good. As long as you've addressed that and are conscious of the requirements per hen and such. I'm juggling 2 groups right now and trying to keep all the Roos and hens happy. These new chicks can't grow up fast enough for me.
 

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I was enlightened this week while babysitting the nesting boxes. I was in there waiting for my leghorn mix to lay. As she layed it it hit the bottom of the nesting box pretty hard and cracked. They keep kicking all of the straw out. There was a 2.5" inch lip, the hubby added another 3" board. I also stuck a piece of cardboard down in the bottom to add a bit of cushion. I am now wondering if that was why they were eating eggs because they were cracking when they layed them? Hopefully we will have no more of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How do I increase calcium intake? They have calcium available to them 24/7 in a ten (10) pound (lbs.) hanging feeder. Would I mix calcium in directly with the feed?
 

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The mustard eggs are not necessarily for predators. The best kind of mustard to use is English mustard because it is the hottest. When the chickens break open an egg and eat the mustard instead of a yoke, it burns their tongues and sinuses. Thanks for the input, I will be sure to put it to use!
I have DOUBTS about the mustard burning their tongues and sinuses. :confused:
I have often read that chickens cannot / do not notice any HEAT from the capsiasin in HOT peppers. I often toss some remnants of HOT peppers to my chickens. They quickly gobble it up. ( OFTEN it is hot Jalapenos...but occasionally VERY-VERY HOT Habaneros !!! It makes no difference to the chickens.)

Incidentally....Hot peppers and/or Hot Pepper flakes (like you might put on Pizza) also SUPPOSEDLY STIMULATE "egg-laying".

???
ReTIRED :)
 
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