Chickens Eating Eggs!!!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have 18 hens of laying age and I have been collecting only 1-3 eggs a day for the last 2 weeks! They are all healthy but I have been told that the chickens are probably eating the eggs. I check for eggs at least twice a day and usually three times but still I have found very few. I can find no signs of molting so I am pretty sure they are just eating their eggs. So how can I stop them?
-- LouAnn Mills (email@example.com), November 05, 2001
add some oyster shell to the feed,, but maybe thats all your goning to get right now. I have 25 and am only getting 1 - 3 a day,, Add some light to the coop,, might help.. whata re you fedding them? Laying mash will help also. What breeds do you have?
-- stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2001.
I can't believe the chickens would eat the entire egg and shell with no evidence. You are experiencing the reduction in eggs probably due to the lack of daylight and a change in temperature. Put a light on in the coop for 14-16 hrs per day.
-- Ann Markson (email@example.com), November 05, 2001.
my parents have 14 hens and right now are only getting 1-4 eggs because they are molting at the moment (very pathetic looking). I doubt the chickens would eat that many eggs in one day with no evidence.
-- Elizabeth (Lividia66@aol.com), November 05, 2001.
When hens are eating eggs they clean them up to a damp spot. Don't think because you see no obvious evidence that they aren't eating them. I'd feed oyster shells, LouAnn, and see what that does. Many times they eat them because the shells are soft and the egg breaks. I don't believe hens go out of their way to break an egg that is hard enough to resist a few pecks, although if they have trained themselves to eat them then that might be a different story. Good luck.
-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2001.
Mine would go out of their way to eat the eggs, cleaning up every little spot. I put plastic Easter eggs into the nests, picking up the real ones as often as possible. They got out of the habit of egg eating because they couldn't crack those plastic eggs. Mine have slowed down for the winter. I get about 3 eggs out of 11 chickens.
-- Dee (email@example.com), November 05, 2001.
The question of hens eating eggs has been done to death in the "Poultry (Eggs)" section of "Older Messages" at the bottom of these newer threads.
However, that may not be your problem. As someone pointed out in a recent thread, their are two reasons for a reduction in actual laying. One is if the birds have moulted, as you said. The other is just shortening days and general winter. The two tend to run into each other and appear as one, but they aren't - you can get either one separately. Particularly if stress had caused the birds to moult earlier in the season, or if they were young birds who haven't had a full season, they might not moult.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2001.
Is it possible you have a snake that's taken up residence?
-- Buk Buk (email@example.com), November 05, 2001.
I haven't been getting many eggs lately either, but my dogs are really shiney. Every now and then I see an egg shell in an out-of- the-way place....
-- Frances Burt (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2001.
Hi LouAnn. I have 13 chickens and average around 7to8 eggs a day- but...My son has to dig for them because the chickens bury them under straw or leaves.We check around 3 or 4 times a day.Possibly yours could be burying them also! Lisa
-- Lisa Reddish (email@example.com), November 06, 2001.
If it was spring and you had no eggs I would suggest you UP the amount of protein in their food as well as the oyster shell. Glass, plastic, and wooden eggs are great deterrants, but sometimes hens eat eggs because they are hungry for protein. It's also necessary to make sure they get higher quality food when they're moulting because making new feathers is a high protein job. I freeze my marginal and failed cheeses for this time of year.. and sometimes I'll supplement their diet with additions of chick starter when they moult heavily.
-- Ellen (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 2001.
It possible that with the hard times we are in someone is stealing your eggs.
-- jp (email@example.com), November 08, 2001.
It is probably due to the shortness of the days.
But just in case, place cider vineger in the drinking water, don't ask why it is just just one of those things added down in my family as the cure all. But it does work.
-- William Rutter (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 2001.
Another thing could be if your birds roam free. I used to have times when I didn't have enough eggs and an old timer told me to keep them locked in their building until noon. Most will have laid by that time of day and they do like to hide them from you if they can.
-- Anna in Iowa (email@example.com), November 09, 2001.
Our 11 layers started producing about seven weeks ago and they were up to 7 eggs a day until the eggs started ALL disappearing on us. Sure enough, they were eating their eggs due to their diet. We switched to an ample supply of calcium pellets plus commercial mash and scratch. After a week and a half of the feed change, we're now up to collecting about a dozen eggs a day...some double and triple yolkers.Once in a while we'll find a half eaten egg yet but plastic eggs inthe coop has confused the 'rebel' chicken (s) somewhat.
-- kerryvalenta (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 28, 2001.