Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cannibal Chickens

You go out to collect your eggs and find one with a hole in and nothing inside.
The next day there are two more  like that. Whatever could be happening?

The first thing to do is check your coop to see if any varmints could get it. This includes raccoons, opossum, and skunks.  Don’t forget your cats. They will also eat eggs. If doesn’t seem to be it then it’s likely to be the biddies themselves.

I have heard it said that chickens eat their own eggs because of a lack of calcium. To me this is unlikely for two reasons:
1. If you are feeding a good quality feed there’s no need for extra calcium.
2. The chickens don’t really eat the shell. They may run around with it and drop pieces here and there. This is the same thing they do with bugs, leaves and even a random mouse.

I have heard of people putting golf balls in the nest to stop it. The thing that works the best for me is to clip their top beak so that it’s blunt. It’s just like clipping your finger nail. Don’t worry if you get a little blood. It will stop. 

They will be able to eat fine, they just can’t break an egg. This is not like what large farms do with the commercial chickens. The beak will grow back.

As always, post further questions in the comment section.

-Dale, aka Turkeyman