Egg eating

Discussion in 'Broody Hens & Egg Laying' started by twentynine, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    I have been raising chickens for 20+ years and I have never experienced egg eating to the degree that I am now.

    In the past I have off and on seen evidence of a stray egg being eaten here and there. Mostly if you watch closely it's the cracked ones, weak shelled or no she'll eggs that get eaten.

    But now!!!!! I have 15 hens in prime laying age. I was until this week gathering 12 to 15 eggs per day. Yesterday I got 2, today I got 1. Evidence of leftover shells, sticky egg white and yolks everywhere. I am as certain as I can be that it is the hens eating the eggs. I supplement with oyster shell and feed Nutrena 16% laying pellets.

    So I am open to suggestions.
     
  2. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    My first guess was Calcium deficiency. But it seems like you have that covered unless they're not using your sources. Check your food for freshness and see if they really are rating what you offer. Could be mold or aflatoxin in the feed. Calcium us one of the few things animals will seek out. Be happy their eating eggs and not dying.
     

  3. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    My firrst thoughts also. Calcium!

    I have increased calcium availability, I keep a container for them in the coop so they can get it as needed. In addition I am now also mixing some oyster shell directly in with the feed. It will probably take several days to see results from this effort.

    My other thoughts were--- possibly their diet was low in animal proteins?

    Secondly-- this year because of work schedule and other obligations I never got around to planting my chickens their green space. Usuall I provide a portion of the run that has been planted in grasses and leafy greens.
     
  4. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    So when you add calcium be sure it's balanced with phosphorus. And calcium lactate is the best source. Calcium carbonate is chalk is is very low in bioavailability meaning they have to eat a lot before they get any benefit.

    The other thought I had was Snake as they will eat eggs whole and leave little behind.

    Could you bring in some potted greens for them. Spinach and other deep green leafy vegs are also high in magnesium which can be very important in balance with calcium but also increases in light of reproduction.