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    • CommentAuthor_Becky_
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 6:19pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    Hello!
    At the moment we are having trouble with our chickens. They keep eating their eggs that they lay. We try to collect them from them as quickly as possible before they notice the eggs, but they keep beating us to it! We have tried things like darkening there house, putting fake eggs in the house, pepper/mustard in eggs, etc but it doesn't seem to work. Is there anything else we can do?
    Another problem is the fact that the chickens keep laying soft eggs. What does end of laying period mean and could this be the problem?
    Please write back!!
    from Becky
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 6:39pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    Hi Becky welcome to Hencam this is a great forum for info and socializing. You sound like you have done all the things that i would suggest the only thing you can try now is the roll away insert or egg box here is a link
    http://www.chicken-house.co.uk/acatalog/Nest-Boxes.html
    how old is the one that is laying the soft eggs ?
      welcome_chicken4.jpg
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 7:54pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    I'm asking the experts....

    Does it really matter so much if they eat the eggs?
    Will they come to harm?

    I suppose the soft shell is another prob that I remember coming on here before.

    Ollie - a non-chick

    owner, that is....
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 8:20pm (May 10th 2010) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    No, them eating eggs won't cause them any harm. Milly used to eat eggs every now and then if Tilly chased her away from the food one too many times!

    You've done everything I can think of. Do your chickens have access to oyster shell? It could be that they are eating their eggs for calcium, but I doubt it...add oyster grit and feed them calcium-rich foods, but to be honest I think they're gonna continue to eat their own eggs! Although thin or soft-shelled eggs can also be a sign that they are lacking calcium...

    Do you feed them layers pellets?

    Leave the fake eggs in there, as they could help. As for the term 'end of lay,' it refers to the winter time when hens usually stop laying because there isn't enough sunlight for them to produce eggs. When hens are coming up to end / beginning of lay, they can lay small eggs, oddly shaped eggs, soft-shelled eggs and all sorts of other unusual things! It's usually nothing to worry about :001_smile:

    Sorry i can't offer any more advice, but at least it's nothing too serious!
    • CommentAuthor_Becky_
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 9:06pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    hello again!
    thank you for your advice! the chickens are roughly two years old now. We got them last year when a friend of ours was clearing out his years batch of free range hens. could this mean that the hens won't lay anymore, because they worked so hard in the farm. He did have about 12,000 on the farm, so could this mean that this is it for them laying eggs??
    Yes, we feed our hens small holders mixed corn which has shells in it, but do you think that they need more shells? we are currently not getting any eggs from our brown hens, because of the egg eating. However, they don't seem to be eating the eggs which the buff orpingtons lay. would this be because of the stronger shells?
    i really appreciate your advice!! :)
    from Becky
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 9:16pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    I don't have any hens, but many people on this forum have ex-batts and once they've settled in they start to lay so I'm sure its not because they've been overworked previously. I'm sure the advice you get on here will be helpful - good luck. Its great to hear that you've given these girls a chance of a new life and welcome to Hencam!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 10:24pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    Keep going Becky and keep with us too.
    We are an odd bunch as half of us don't have chickens at all!!
    We just love the company of these folks who think so caringly about other creatures.
    Red is the Queen of them all. I bet she doesn't even swat mossies...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 10:37pm (May 10th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Hey Becky, after 1 - 2 years old a hens' egg production will drop, but you will still get a fair few eggs from them! Tilly and Penny are seven years old now; Penny lays roughly four eggs a week, Tilly lays one or two - not bad for old girls!

    Do you just feed your chickens corn? Corn is a welcome treat for chickens, but shouldn't be offered as their main diet. It mainly contains fat and little nutrients, whereas layers pellets are created to give laying hens all the nutrients they need to lay eggs (hence the name I guess!)

    To give them extra calcium you can feed them cooked eggs (scrambled is supposedly very good for chickens), cat food, yoghurt, oyster shells or crushed up egg shells. All your chickens can be fed these, it will give them a boost and make all their egg shells healthier!

    I really wish I could give you more advice...just leave the fake eggs in the nest box, try adding more calcium to their diet and keep us updated with how it goes!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 10:37pm (May 10th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Posted By: ollie in UKI bet she doesn't even swat mossies...


    No, I run from them instead!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2010 10:41pm (May 10th 2010)
     
    Very, very fast.......................
    • CommentAuthor_Becky_
    • CommentTimeMay 11th, 2010 5:52pm (May 11th 2010)
     
    Thank you for your advice red!! i will have a go at the suggestions you made!!! hopefully it will work and i will keep you informed on how it all goes!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 11th, 2010 7:07pm (May 11th 2010)
     
    Please do let us know. Some of us are considering getting hens (aren't you Shobhna!) and will no doubt find all this advice - and whether it works or not - very useful!
    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeMay 13th, 2010 9:22pm (May 13th 2010)
     
    Hi Becky

    I had 2 hens but 1 died sadly last year as she was egg bound very horrible nothing could be done and it happened very quick at least i was holding her.

    They used to compete with there egg laying and who could eat the egg first, they used to lay like clock work as good as gold in there nest box then specs (the one that died) would lay in the strangest of places like in the middle of the garden you would get a small warning by the way she was standing then i would run hell for leather up the garden to try and protect the egg.

    As im aware when the egg is laid it is slightly soft and then hardens????? but getting between specs and her laid egg was hard work and she would most of the time win.

    They were on layers pelletts and small holder corn with added oyster shell and still it made no difference, Goldie my other hen has stopped laying all together now and she is only in her third year.

    She is still a wonderful hen and brings great pleasure to my world even though i dont have eggs.

    Im sorry i could not give you an answer but hens are hens they will do the strangest of things and they dont listen when you tell them off.

    Enjoy them faults and all and well done you for giving them a loving home : ) xxxxx
    • CommentAuthor_Becky_
    • CommentTimeMay 18th, 2010 6:07pm (May 18th 2010)
     
    thank you joannec! i havent seemed to be having any eggs from them lately, but did your lay all though the winter? because mine did and quite regularly, so i am wondering whether they are having a late break or if they are just coming to an end?
    thanks everyone!! xxx
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2010 5:31pm (May 19th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They could just be having a break; they probably won't stop laying completely until they are very old. Even old hens tend to lay the odd egg, even Tilly does and she is lazy and seven years old!

    Also, with them laying all through the winter that shows they are still in peak egg-laying condition...give them time and layers pellets and they should start again :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2010 7:32pm (May 19th 2010)
     
    My rabbits have been eating layers pellets and there are no eggs yet...:) I've got the run out ready for any chicks who may arrive...both rabbits were sitting in there this afternoon. :\
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2010 7:45pm (May 19th 2010)
     
    CC My Rabbit eats them all the time and she is getting very Fat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 20th, 2010 5:41pm (May 20th 2010)
     
    Dini will never be fat, he's too small to ever be fat! treacle on the other hand, may well get a bit portly!