Another question on chickens eating eggs?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I was told if you snip off 1/8 inch of the top beak of a chicken that they are unable to crack the eggs to eat them? Anyone try it or heard of it? Mary
-- Mary (email@example.com), April 27, 2001
It used to be a common practice to debeak chickens to prevent them from mutilating each other and cracking eggs. Personally I think that's like taking a cold remedy. While it will treat the symptoms, it doesn't cure the cold. If your chickens are breaking eggs, are they getting enough calcium and grit? You may need to supplement with oyster shells and possibly give them some sand if they have none. Do you have chickens that lay different colored eggs? I have had some hens that will break araucana eggs only and I've always assumed it was because of the difference in the color of the eggs. A hen may be overly territorial, breaking the eggs of another hen that is close to her in the pecking order. Do you have enough nesting sites for them. They may be breaking eggs inadvertently if many hens are trying to lay in few nests. Sometimes my hens seem to get in a rut and all want to lay in one nest. I just rearrange the hen house, and moving the nestboxes seems to alleviate this problem. Once a hen starts breaking eggs it can be a difficult habit to stop. I have friends who feed eggshells to their hens with no difficulty, but the last time I had a hen start breaking eggs I started supplementing with oystershells and quit feeding crushed eggshells, and my problems ceased. If there was a mineral my hens were deficient in (calcium or a micromineral) their eggshells would be deficient in that nutrient also, but the oystershells weren't. I raise and eat my livestock with no qualms, but while they're here, I want them to have the best quality of life that I can provide them. I think debeaking diminishes their ability to forage for themselves. If you are going to debeak be sure you have a cauterizing tool available because there is a good blood flow to that beak and the bird can bleed to death if it isn't cauterized when debeaked.
-- Sheryl Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 27, 2001.
Hello !! I know this might sound strange but I use plastic easter eggs--the kind that open. I use only the yellow or light colored plastic easter eggs. You put them in the nest, the hen pecks it open and leaves the other, the real egg, that is in the nest alone. Please do not ask me why this works because I dont understand it myself. I have been using this method for over a year with very good success. I feed my chickens plenty of ground shell for calcium but they were still pecking eggs until I started putting the plastic easter eggs in the nest. I have tried just a plain plastic egg but it has to be one they can peck open (the easter kind that opens in the middle). It seems like once they peck this shiney plastic egg open and there is nothing in it they give up. You also should gather your eggs two or three times a day---dont leave eggs in the nest to long. This is just my experience, h
-- Cheryl Gamache (Red4Irish@aol.com), April 30, 2001.
Hi mary I had the same problem a couple months ago I ask about it at the feed store and they said oystershells it did not work then I got on the computer and ask some one said put paper over the front of the nest and a small ball like golf balls or easter eggs .did not work for me then i noticed when i keaped them in the pin they would eat the eggs if i let them out they did not so maybe boardem is the problem
-- Lisa Miller (email@example.com), May 23, 2001.