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Monday, May 11, 2009

More Egg Eaters

Last week Ethan went to his uncle's to get some more chickens. His uncle was wanting to clear them out since they were getting in his wife's flower bed. We were more than happy to take 2 roosters and a dozen hens. They spent about the first week here in a temporary house - 2 hog huts welded together. Ethan's uncle was kind enough to put them together, build some roosts inside, and send a next box as well.

You might remember that the last batch of hens we got from his uncle turned out to be egg eaters. It has been quite the challenge to get eggs from them, and you can read all about it in my posts under livestock. Well, we soon found out that this batch of chickens is from the same flock, and they like to eat their eggs as well. If we were lucky enough to get an egg out of the next box, it was almost sure to have yolk on it.

After the new chickens had been contained to their house for about a week, learning where their roosts, food, water, and nest boxes were to be found, we let them out. We are happy to see that the egg eating has slowed down. There must be too much else to do besides sit in their coop and eat eggs. If we can't break them of it completely though, they will be rotated out.

One of the things they have found to do, unfortunately is take dust baths in MY flower bed. Last week I dug the trench to put the weed border in, and the chickens decided that it makes a great community bath tub. I don't have much planted in the flower bed yet, but once I do we will have to move their house away from our house and put shade close by.

As for our old chickens . . . we don't see them around much anymore. They spend most of the day hiding under wagons. They were quite content without any roosters, and once we let our new flock out the roosters quickly noticed the hens they hadn't met yet. Along with that, they couldn't hold their place in the pecking order showdown with the new hens. Oh well . . . at least we know where 2 of their stolen nesting spots are, and they do lay quite regularly.

(By the way, if you are in our area and interested in eggs, we might start selling some soon.)


Tim said...

"If we can't break them of it completely though, they will be rotated out"

Read: Chicken legs for dinner!

Nancy M. said...

A friend gave me some egg eaters and as long as they free ranged they would stop eating eggs. Due to stray dogs attacking my chickens, I couldn't let them roam anymore, so they started eating eggs again. A few weeks ago I gave them to my cousin. He has been separating them to see which ones eat the eggs. But, I think it was all of them and I didn't want them to teach my girls to do it too.

David said...

I have stopped egg eating in the past by adding powdered milk to the chicken's water.


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