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 Post subject: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:42 pm
Posts: 8
Location: North Queensland
So my beloved chooks egch6678 have had me puzzled for a little while now.

We have four girls. Two are laying, two aren't (yet ...).
Whenever my partner is home (he is on a FIFO roster) we have two eggs a day. Almost. every. day.
However as soon as he leaves for work and I am looking after the birds there rarely ever are two eggs. I am lucky if I have one two egg day while he is gone.

I had started thinking that one of my birds just hates me. Until today.
When I just went down to the coop, guess what I found. One perfectly un-chipped egg - soiled all over by egg yolk and with a tiny bit of egg shell sticking to it.

Now is it just me that thinks there is some egg eating going on? Which probably means my partner just has a better feeling for when to look for eggs so he gets to them before they turn into chook lunches.

I feel like finding the egg eater and twisting its feathery neck right now *grrrr*


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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 174
Location: West Gippsland, Victoria
The odd egg will always get broken in the nest box and is always eaten by the hens if they see it.
If one of your hens has learned to break open sound eggs then there are a few strategies to use.
The first thing is make sure that the shells are as strong as possible which means adequate calcium and vitamins.
It also helps if the nest box is kept fairly dark. Plenty of nest material will also reduce breakages. I use rice hulls.
I leave golf balls in all the nest boxes as dummy eggs. If you also collect the eggs as often as possible there will be little reward from pecking at eggs as it will usually be a dummy and the culprit should get out of the habit.


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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:18 pm
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Location: APF
Some hens can have long claws and beak eggs by accident as I have found out

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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:27 am
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Location: SA
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I have had a few of those to and once its cracked they all join in to eat it

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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:42 pm
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Location: North Queensland
well, I guess with this egg I obviously rescued just in time the chain of evidence is now pretty tight:

Image

I will probably have to improve on my nest boxes (making them darker and more cozy) which I have obviously been putting off for too long but for the moment I tried the golf ball method since I had too at home.
Guess what: one golf ball got completely missing over night (dug into the straw, I would guess) the other one turned up on the other end of the coop half-buried. If that's how they treat their eggs I rest my case ...


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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Looks like the eggs has been scratched by a lizard?

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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:39 pm
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Location: Salisbury
I think you have a goanna/snake stealing your eggs especially if a golf ball is taken and carried to the other end of your coop

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 Post subject: Re: ... guess what I just found ... (egg eating!?)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:26 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Thornleigh, NSW
namida wrote:
well, I guess with this egg I obviously rescued just in time the chain of evidence is now pretty tight:

Image

I will probably have to improve on my nest boxes (making them darker and more cozy) which I have obviously been putting off for too long but for the moment I tried the golf ball method since I had too at home.
Guess what: one golf ball got completely missing over night (dug into the straw, I would guess) the other one turned up on the other end of the coop half-buried. If that's how they treat their eggs I rest my case ...


My Barnevelder does this to eggs quite a lot and I have seen her do it. She scratches them, when they are still slightly wet and it scratches some of the pigment off (or whatever the outer casing is). I don't believe she is trying to break or eat it - she just scratches with those thick yellow legs, at everything - she scratches round the straw in the box, lays down, scratches more, finally lays an egg, gets up and scratches round the egg and straw some more. Most times it doesn't break. But her behaviour sometimes breaks another egg already in the box, especially those of my RIR which tend to be thin-shelled, whatever I do. Rarely is there sign of any eating going on.

Just a thought - you might have a scratcher rather than an eater. Or, inadvertantly, the scratching breaks it, then they take the opportunity to eat it, rather than deliberately pecking it to eat.

I have recently put synthetic grass squares on the floor of their wooden box, with the sugar cane mulch on top. I am hoping this will give extra protection against rough treatment. And if an egg still gets broken, it is easier to take the square out to clean. I bought enough to always have a clean and dry spare to swap over.


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