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Keeping Chickens Newsletter

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April 2008
EGG EATING CHICKENS

Here is a Question I recently received from a subscriber to this newsletter (together with my reply - and the solution that worked for him). It just goes to show that for every chicken issue there are probably one-hundred different solutions :-)

Gina ! Do you have any ideas on how to keep a chicken from eating their eggs? Thanks, Fred (Oklahoma USA).

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If they have got a taste for the eggs it can be tricky to stop them.

The first thing would obviously be to try to collect the eggs as quickly as possible.

Another option can be a nest that collects the eggs underneath so that the hen can't get to them (I have a video on my blog of someone making a homemade egg catcher
http://successwithpoultry.blogspot.com/2007/06/how-to-build-your-own-egg-catching.html )

Golf balls or other fake eggs in the nest may help put them off.

Dark nest boxes can also sometimes help (chickens seem to like to see what they are eating)

I don't know if you saw it or not but in the '200 eggs' book there is a bit on stopping egg eating (a hatchet is recommended in severe cases!) - He also gives an account of someone else's method (which I have never tried, so I can't vouch for it, but you may find it useful):
"Mr. S. D. Fox, to whom I have several times referred, has a method of breaking hens of egg eating as novel as it is efficacious. "My hens got to eating eggs one spring," he says, "and I went to work to cure them. I got an egg, chipped off one end and took out the yolk and white. Then I filled up the egg with soft soap, sprinkled in a good stiff dose of cayenne pepper, stuck on the end with white court plaster, and dropped the egg on the hen house floor. They eat that egg. The next day I give 'em another. They eat that. The next day I give 'em a third. They didn't eat that, and they never eat another so far as I know. Didn't like the flavor, I guess. Hurt 'em? Wall, no, I never see that it did. Might have cleaned 'em out a little -
soft soap is good for that, you know - but it didn't rumple a feather, so far as I could see."

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Thanks for the information!! Before I received info from you on this item, I took matters into my own hands: I took a red, yellow, and a blue plastic Easter Egg and glued them closed. Placing the blue one in one nest and the red and yellow in another, and left the third nest empty. I got some interesting results: Both hens (adult) chipped the blue one to pieces but not only did they not attack the red and yellow egg, they both now lay in the same box with the red and yellow egg, abandoning the nest they once laid in. Isn't that interesting? Thank you so much for the info.



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Keeping Chickens Newsletter - Published April 2008 by www.Self-Sufficient-Life.com