Mustard explosion and they’re still egg eaters!!!

Beekissed

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My theory was bored chickens and over tiny coops and runs for some of them. We have neighbors with the chick coops from tractor supply that birds stay in there 24/7 and mean those that claim to be for 6 hen but more accurately for 3 they have 8 in each i would go crazy if i was their birds i would roll eggs around for fun lol

I agree. Bored chickens with no outlet for foraging behavior will "hunt" for food where they can find it.

And, no one culls their flocks yearly for nonlayers or poor layers, so shell problems continue to happen and "egg eaters" seem chronic offenders. Could be why I never have a repeat offender for this, as I never have hens with chronic shell issues that stay in the flock, nor any that do not lay at all.

Plus, mine all free range at will, so plenty of foraging opportunities outside they are in a rush to get to.
 

Jesusfreak101

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I find it funny about the oyster shells mine never seemed to eat them i felt they were decor more often. However egg shells even the ducks would kill for. My husband loves watching the chickens when the find a snake they chase each other(for anything tasty really) he thinks it a riot he the 'll commentator for what he calls the keep away game. Lol personally I find it funnier to him.
 
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Beekissed

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I love to watch keep away too.....so entertaining! My theory is this....the chickens most likely to eat the eggs are those with the thinner shells~they are the ones near or getting off the nest after such eggs are laid, so it's God's way of feeding them back their own loss of nutrition. I say, let them have it!

Same with broody hens when they eat the duds or damaged eggs in their nest....figure they need the nutrition and it may be God's way of getting it to them so they won't have to leave the nest for it.
 

Beekissed

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Just cleaned residue of a busted egg out of a nest....most of it eaten, but it wasn't cleaned up real well. I prefer if they clean them up better. :D =D My hens are too in a hurry to get back out on the grass to linger long eating up their own mess.
 

Xerocles

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I'm 100% with Beekissed on this. An egg or so occasionally? So what.
I think the mustard was a bad idea. I LOVE boiled eggs dipped in mustard! Take something good and make it better? In hopes of making it less attractive? Nope.
However, if this really bothers you, I'll share what I did back in the beginning. Paint roller trays.(try to find smooth bottom ones). A board across the "deep" end. Just enough hay around the edges to give the appearance of a "nest". Chicken lays, stands up, egg rolls down the tray, under the board.
It worked, but I've given it up. Never had a problem with egg eaters.
 

farmerjan

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I will just agree to disagree on some of what has been said. There are often hens that will wait to eat eggs as @Mini Horses mentioned. I have found that to be very true over nearly 55 years of having chickens, working with both purebreds and on commercial chicken farms since I was a kid. There is some truth to the ones getting older and their system can no longer support the needs of the body so an egg will come down the system and not put enough shell on it before it is laid. They will come out with thin shells, bumps and imperfections and often with just the membrane and no shell at all - what she called leather eggs.
But I have found that more often than not once a hen gets the taste, there are some that will just keep at it. I have sat and watched a hen go after and purposely pick a perfectly formed egg until the can get it against something and peck until they break the shell. So I would not discount that there is one or two that just might be problems.
Making sure there is plenty of bedding in the nest is a must so they don't drop onto a hard surface. And yes, they tend to pick a favorite nest and then they all want to lay in it so you are going to have to pick up the eggs more often. Putting fake eggs in each nest will encourage them to maybe spread out a little because they do like to lay where another has already laid.... tells their little bird brain that it is a "safe place" to go lay an egg.
My birds have always utilized the oyster shells and the "granite grit" even when they free ranged. Some more than others. But I have always kept it available. Even the oyster shells will help their gizzards to grind up the feed they eat and a little bit will get dissolved into their system to provide more calcium.
It may be that in your area they may have a deficiency, like there is of Vit E and Selenium in parts of this country. So I wouldn't worry about if you don't see them eating it. They aren't going to devour it like feed. Took mine over a year to use up a 25 lb bag for 125 hens free range out on pasture. But they did want a little bit on occasion.

I never feed back eggs to my chickens. They are too important for other things, even for the cats and dogs, to be feeding it back to a chicken. Like I also don't feed any meat to them. After years of seeing and listening to some of the old breeders of fighting chickens at the poultry shows, it is well known that they feed meat to the fighting cocks..... not going to encourage my chickens by feeding them chicken.... or any meat on purpose....Yes they are omnivores, yes they will eat baby mice, and are some of the worst scavengers there are, eating anything dead they can find and to also pick at and eat any bird that may have a problem. They will also pick feathers and can cause a bloody mess with birds just starting to feather in with pin feathers. It doesn't mean they are bored although often in small pens they are. Some are just cannabalistic and they need to be in the soup pot.
I also DO CULL for non-productive birds. I do not see the purpose of feeding a chicken that does not produce for me. Many times the non-productive ones are the bullies and the egg eaters and the feather pickers. They will have the nicest feathers and look the prettiest. But if they are there to lay, they are not there to just be pretty, and they are not there to eat the production of the others. That is thrown away feed and money.

My purebreds that we show occasionally, although I do not show like I used to, are not nearly as productive as the sex-links that are bred for laying. They are there for looks somewhat, but they still have to produce. I like to look at them. But I want my eggs to eat too so they have to justify the time and effort that I put into them. Pets do it as companions, LGD's do it protectors of their flocks, our llamas do it as protectors of the sheep even though we do not have them to reproduce, my horses were for my riding enjoyment, my cows are for both replacement cattle and cattle to sell, as well as meat in the freezer, my dairy cattle are for milk and to raise more calves. They have to at least pay for themselves, IN SOME FORM OR MANNER. An egg eating chicken is not making any contribution. An occasional eaten egg is not a big deal, it happens. One continually doing it is a big deal.
 

Beekissed

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My chickens love spicy foods, even straight hot pepper seeds, cores and such from canning scraps. Mustard would seem like a nice sauce to them. They don't seem to be able to taste things like hot, bitter, etc., or if they do, they don't seem to mind it.
 

Jesusfreak101

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I am also process older birds that don't lay. I have a group of 6 year old hens that still lay well so they still around. Once they stop i end up processing them. I also have very young lays at 5 months (they started young they lay tiny eggs) i tend to sale some when the flocks to large or we have a drop in customers. Before I was getting alittle over 2 dozen a day and had no one buying now that i cut back on birds the eggs are never here long. Ironically. I be increasing the flock again but they be new layers through the winter so that be great. I am working on chick and small bird pens because of the stray cats we have that we seen take the smaller laying birds and chicks. I am not okay losing them and we shot them on sight and hunt the down. We also have the odd hawk and coyote crosses. The stray dogs as well. Oh and had a rat snake that ate my eggs after the pigs joined us he gone. I like the pigs lol i probably keep some hogs around non stop for that purpuse. Stella gets broken eggs as well and the naughty pigs start finding them as well until they got their own pen. Now if a eggs laid in the pig house oh well not much I can,do there but the rest are mine. And thanks to the calf the human kids aren't going in there to get the eggs so less broken eggs. Lol.
 

Beekissed

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I am also process older birds that don't lay. I have a group of 6 year old hens that still lay well so they still around. Once they stop i end up processing them. I also have very young lays at 5 months (they started young they lay tiny eggs) i tend to sale some when the flocks to large or we have a drop in customers. Before I was getting alittle over 2 dozen a day and had no one buying now that i cut back on birds the eggs are never here long. Ironically. I be increasing the flock again but they be new layers through the winter so that be great. I am working on chick and small bird pens because of the stray cats we have that we seen take the smaller laying birds and chicks. I am not okay losing them and we shot them on sight and hunt the down. We also have the odd hawk and coyote crosses. The stray dogs as well. Oh and had a rat snake that ate my eggs after the pigs joined us he gone. I like the pigs lol i probably keep some hogs around non stop for that purpuse. Stella gets broken eggs as well and the naughty pigs start finding them as well until they got their own pen. Now if a eggs laid in the pig house oh well not much I can,do there but the rest are mine. And thanks to the calf the human kids aren't going in there to get the eggs so less broken eggs. Lol.

You need you a good farm dog to keep those nasty cats off your flock! They will still eat any eggs laid out in the field but at least you wouldn't lose any birds.
 
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