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My hens are eating their eggs...

Discussion in 'Poultry Chat' started by kaz_f, Aug 8, 2009.


  1. kaz_f

    kaz_f PetForums VIP

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    Why might they be doing this?
    I am new to keeping hens, am I doing something wrong?
    I am feeding them on ex-battery hen crumble with some corn mixed in. They have nest boxes and are able to scratch around on the grass in the garden but as soon as they lay an egg they peck it and eat it!
    Advice would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    Karen
     
  2. Cascara

    Cascara PetForums Member

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    This is such a tricky one to handle. First make sure you check for eggs lots during the day and remove them soon as you can. Eating eggs can be through lack of food or vitamins, not so in this case, or lack of water, boredom, fun, habit. All it needs is one hen and soon they all start. I have tried blowing the eggs and filling with mustard, chilli, curry but they love it lol! You need to try and give them something they prefer to eggs!
    If it was just one or two hens then I move them to quarantine to save the others watching and following the habit. Try re-organising the coup, move the nest boxes or provide a deeper hay nesting box bedding, give them lots of other toys and things to do.

    Good luck,
     
  3. Beardy

    Beardy PetForums Member

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    Do you give them grit? I would perhaps try a couple of pot eggs too, try & substitute them immediately that eggs are laid, it might help?
     
  4. kaz_f

    kaz_f PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for the advice, I think it's a case of trying to re-educate them not to peck the eggs because now whenever they lay one it's the first thing they think about doing.

    Actually I haven't given them grit so will try that - Thank you.

    I have some pot eggs that I've been putting in in the hope that when they peck them and nothing happens they'll maybe get out of the habit of doing it. I do tend to put things like broccoli and cabbage in there for them to peck at as well because half of me thinks they may be doing it for something to do. I hope they aren't bored but they do have a varied life. They have the run of my garden and so lots of things to peck at and they take themselves off to bed at night.

    I have been checking for eggs 3 or 4 times a day but alas I am always too late and all I ever find is remanats of shells that are left over!

    I really like the idea of putting toys in there for them as I guess it would add a bit of interest and something for them to investigate rather than their own eggs!

    I guess it's a tricky problem to fix really :confused:
     
  5. Cascara

    Cascara PetForums Member

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    Are the nesting boxes dark enough? That can help too.
     
  6. kaz_f

    kaz_f PetForums VIP

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    Well yes they are, however I have learned that I really should be closing their door at night. It is safe from foxes as their run is attached to their hen house (and their run is fox proof) however a relative suggested that they should actually be closed in overnight so that they get a certain amount of darkness and I hadn't been doing this up to now (I've got SO much to learn). I've done this for the past 4 days and I've had 3 eggs! hurrah! I've got a hen house with a hinged lid so it's easy to check for eggs. I've also followed your other advice about checking lots of times during the day and this has helped too because I cheked today at lunch and their was an egg! Previously I was only checking on them in the morning and again in the evening.

    Thanks folks!! So far so good!
    Karen
     
  7. Cascara

    Cascara PetForums Member

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    Scrummy, can't beat home laid eggs :)

    brilliant news xxx
     
  8. Guinevere13

    Guinevere13 PetForums VIP

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    I used to give my hens an egg as a treat but they never pecked the eggs on their own. It may have been because they needed grit. Mine used to eat grapes, melon, brussel sprouts, broccoli - in fact anything! I also used to dig a little hole every now and again and they would jump in and look for worms, then have a mud bath in it :D

    Good luck with the eggs, can't beat a home grown one :D
     
  9. kaz_f

    kaz_f PetForums VIP

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    Thanks all for your advice. I am doing 2 hourly egg patrols now and yesterday I got 3! Whe hey!!
     
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