Monday, April 5, 2010

Trouble in the hen house.....

I just went out to the coop to check for morning eggs and this is what I found one of the girls brooding on. Not a good sign, I would think. She was laying on an empty egg.
I've noticed over the past week that some of the eggs had a hole in one end, but, none of the contents had been emptied. I chalked it up to the girls starting to feel a little broody and being inexperienced hens just pecked the egg to hard trying to get it in position under their bodies.
Yesterday when I collected the morning eggs, one had landed on the floor in the straw and I stepped on it. All six hens went ballistic seeing who could eat the most. I could not ward them off! It was like they were possessed! Now I'm wondering if that incident has started a taste for eggs? But, when I collected the evening eggs, two were in the nest boxes without any sign of being pecked. They were picture perfect.
I guess I just need to keep any eye on things and look for any signs of egg eating. My understanding it that egg eating can be a rather large problem. I hope this is not the case. We only have six hens. I'd hate to lose any of them due to a nasty habit. Maybe I could put them in egg eating rehab??
I'm sure I'll be asking advice if I run into a problem.


  1. I've read that egg eating is a really hard one to curb. I've also see nest box plans that allow the egg to drop away past the hen's reach. I sure hope you don't have to resort to drastic measures!

  2. Hopefully, it is just a one time thing. I have found a few (very few) eaten eggs.

  3. That's a problem I've had little dealings with. I did have a silkie that ate three of her eggs, but she still ended up hatching out five chicks from the same group. She hasn't laid an egg since she hatched them out, though. It was suggested to me to take egg shells and bake them. Then feed them to the chickens. Don't know if it works, but I suppose it's worth a try. Good luck.

  4. do you have oyster shell along with grit for them?
    sometimes they just need the calcium.

    Although, yes, once a few start to eat the eggs it can be hard to stop them-- I have 3-4 that need to be turned into stewing hens when it's time to process chickens.

    We were going to look into the egg box design that Paula was talking about.

  5. Thanks everyone - I've started adding some oyster shell to their diets and I'm happy to report (not because of the extra calcium) that I haven't had an incident since this one...
    finger crossed!