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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 5 ladies. They are 5 months old. Two are Easter Eggers and they are the reason for my questions. One month ago, today, we got our first egg, from one of the Easter Eggers. The other was the next to start laying. I was getting 2 eggs, from them, every day... until last weekend. Now I'm lucky to be getting 1 every other day. And... I'm finding them in odd places. Up until last weekend, all eggs were in the nest box. I've had 3 Easter-Egger-eggs this week. 2 were found on the platform near the nest box. The 3rd was found on the floor, near the water, on the opposite side of the coop.

So I guess my questions would be:

:confused: Do new layers sometimes start out strong and then back off?

:confused: Should I worry that one of the Easter Eggers is eggbound?

:confused: Should I worry that I have an egg eater?

I should mention that another 2 of my girls are laying (brown eggs) and I'm still getting 2 of those every day. That kindof makes me think its not an egg eater situation.

Thanks, in advance, for any advice!

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
UPDATE:

Today I went out to find one of the nest boxes tipped over and 1 broken egg on the floor. The only thing left of that egg was about 1/4 of the shell. Someone had eaten the rest. Then I found another egg clear across the coop. I'm wondering if the tip-over was an accident. And/or... should I be leaning more towards my problem being an egg eater? My Buff Orpington started eating what was left of the broken egg shell right in front of me. :( Maybe that was just a case of opportunity?? At the very least, I guess I should find a way to secure my nest boxes better. I'd still love to hear if anyone has any ideas.
 

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Are you supplementing their diet with oyster shell? Maybe they are craving more calcium in their diet. Another thing I thought of, is that maybe they are looking for more protein in their diet. Egg yolk is full of protein, and so they might be craving that. I have a hen that recently started doing this but I think it's because I stopped collecting their eggs as often as I usually do. She doesn't seem to like having too many eggs in the nest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you supplementing their diet with oyster shell? Maybe they are craving more calcium in their diet. Another thing I thought of, is that maybe they are looking for more protein in their diet. Egg yolk is full of protein, and so they might be craving that. I have a hen that recently started doing this but I think it's because I stopped collecting their eggs as often as I usually do. She doesn't seem to like having too many eggs in the nest.

Thanks for the reply! :)

I've been drying out egg-shells
(in the oven) and crushing them for the girls. They are still getting their "starter" feed mixed with "layer" feed and they get meal worms and kitchen scraps for treats. Things like tomato, broccoli, bread, carrots, etc.

I go out and check on/play with them at least twice a day (usually more), and I always check for eggs.

I read that putting golf balls in the nest may help. I also read to give them liquid milk for a few days. And also filling plastic Easter eggs with something "yucky", like mustard. I dunno. I guess it can't hurt to try.

Since I suspect egg-eating may be the problem... do you think I should stop giving them the dried egg shells? OR... Should I maybe start giving them some hard boiled egg (for the protein), since it's cooked?

 

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Oh no! Keep giving the shells! Its so good for them. I try not to let mine eat the yolks because it tastes real good to them and that'll keep them "addicted" to it. You could give them something else with protein in it like fish or meat scraps (prefetaonot chicken for obvious reasons).
 

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Make sure your boxes have a lot of straw in them or line them with cardboard. If any of the eggs hit the ground too hard and crack they will eat it. Don't give them the excuse. Mine eat their eggs when it's raining and they decide to stay in the coop and get bored.... see if you can find something to keep them occupied for a little longer. If all else fails you can try blowing out an egg, filling it with hot mustard, and putting it back in the box. They won't appreciate the new filling. I have yet to try this but some others here say it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies! :)

I'm pretty sure I don't have any intruders but... can't be certain. Walls of coop are buried and roof is sealed. Fencing is 1/4" hardware cloth.

I'm using pine shavings and I added quite a bit more to the nesting boxes yesterday. I think they were a little sparse.

I haven't seen my Buff Orpington actually lay an egg yet but I've seen her try. She was in the nesting box with 3 other eggs, the other day, and kept moving them around. If I see that again, should I go ahead and remove the other eggs or wait until she finishes her business and gets out of the nest box?

I found a broken egg in one of the nest boxes a week or so ago and removed the entire box to clean it. I left the box out to dry so the girls didn't have that box for about 1/2 a day. They didn't seem very happy about that. Come to think of it... that's about the same time this all started happening. Hmmm... coincidence?

I'll keep giving them the egg shells and I'll try to get some more protein to them.
 

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Sounds like they are just getting creative with were they lay. As for the turned over box, sounds like an intruder unless your nest box was secured to the wall, if that's the case then one of the chickens could have landed wrong or what have you and knocked it over. Since you are giving egg shells you do NOT need to buy oyster shells. You also don't need to back them. I just collect shells in a large bowl after using them and then crunch them once or twice with my potato masher and toss them in the yard for my flock to eat. Sometimes I don't even crunch them. Then chickens will break off the size pieces they can handle. And giving them egg shells in this way does not leads to egg eaters. I have yet to have a good egg eaten. Also If I find a cracked egg I smash it on the ground and let the flock eat it. Lack of calcium will result in thin eggs or shell-less eggs not lack of laying. My opinion is that they are laying elsewhere and you will eventually find the missing eggs. Chickens can fit into small places and once you find them you will be surprised. lol As for the eaten egg, I wouldn't worry the nest box fell over then egg probably cracked once they see the yolk sure they'll egg it. that doesn't mean they will start cracking eggs on purpose and eating them. Oh and with the calcium if you are providing layer feed they technically don't need a calcium supplement but since you have the egg shells its fine to give to them to give that little extra boost.

Also count yourself lucky that you ended up with 3 Easter Eggers that are all laying at 5 months old. EE's are usually late bloomers. Mine didn't lay till a year old.

what color eggs have you been getting ?
 
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