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#75700 - 09/24/04 09:15 AM I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
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Hi everyone. My hens have started laying pretty good now but I'm concerned because I think one might be an egg eater. I noticed that when they go into the nest boxes they push the straw away and lay right on the wooden bottom of the nests. This sometimes causes the eggs to crack. I noticed what looked like the broken shells of 2 eggs laying in the nest one day and then today I was in the coop while one of my Barred Rocks was laying her egg. I heard it drop then I see her put her head between her legs and start pecking at her egg!! eek So I grabbed it from under her right away.

So my questions are: What can I do about them moving the straw so that there is less chance for the eggs to crack and what should I do with that rotten little egg eater????? I told her...."you keep eating the eggs and I'm gonna eat you!!!"

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#75701 - 09/24/04 11:51 AM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
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You could make the nest boxes smaller so they have no room to scratch about and move around. Put the boxes in the dark or at least the darkest part of the building. Raise the front side so they go down into the box and if the front is higher they have less chance of actually scratching anything much out.A layer of wood shavings under the straw might help too.
Lots of people swear by filling eggs with bad tasting mixtures. Ive never found this helps much as hens have very limited sense of taste.

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#75702 - 09/24/04 12:05 PM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
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If you search some old posts, you'll see this topic has received great attention. I myself asked lots of questions and have posted many replies to the same problem I had with my first flock.

What I did and what I learned:

Start by preventing the eggs from cracking in the box. I added a small layer of foam or carpet (removable) under the wood shavings. It worked well for me. Also make sure the box is deep enough to prevent the birds from scratching out the litter... they'll do that if your boxes are too shallow.

Once these things are complete, eat any egg eater you catch. Look for dried yolk on their beak and combs. With a little attention, it will be obvious who is guilty. Do not let that bird mingle with your non egg-eaters. She will teach the others her bad habit. Find a good recipe for chicken soup, or chicken enchiladas and don't hesitate. I lost three hens to the problem before I took appropriate action. Next time, I'll be quicker.

Good luck.

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#75703 - 09/25/04 06:52 AM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for your helpful responses. I thought my husband may have made the nest boxes too big but I didn't want to hurt his feelings because he was so proud of himself. I'm going to try to break the news to him that we may have to construct something around the nest boxes to make them more confined. This is our first year with our flock and so we are learning as we go.

Thanks again, Tammy

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#75704 - 09/25/04 11:16 AM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
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Re the egg cracking problem - I have a half an inch of sawdust in the bottom of my nest boxes. That will stop the eggs cracking just like shavings.

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#75705 - 09/26/04 03:08 AM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
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I've had this problem twice and each time solved it by putting wooden eggs in the nests. I put 2 or 3 in each nest.

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#75706 - 09/27/04 12:46 PM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I made my boxes deeper by simply fixing a 3 1/2 inch wide board across the bottom of each box-front, where the birds enter. They now have to step over that board, to get into the nest, but it created enough depth that I only had to add shavings about once a month. The peice of carpet in the bottom also helps in the event they manage to scratch down to the bottom of the next box. Save your husband the trouble if you can.

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#75707 - 10/11/04 01:30 PM Re: I think I have an egg eater!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've also heard that carpet padding works for lining the bottom of the laying boxes.

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