New Hens and Coons

dewdropsinwv

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Well I am sad to say that I have gone from 24 hens to 18. It's all my own doing, I forgot to lock them up a few times and coons got to them.
But on the other hand, I am happy to report that they have finally started laying eggs. I got the first one on Sunday afternoon. Today I got 3 regular eggs and one soft shell. But I also have one hen that is poking holes in the eggs she lays. Luckily, when the soft shell egg was laid, MontyJ was able to get it before we had all the chickens after it.
Not quite sure how to get her to stop pecking holes in the eggs. Advice is appreciated.
 

catjac1975

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Well I am sad to say that I have gone from 24 hens to 18. It's all my own doing, I forgot to lock them up a few times and coons got to them.
But on the other hand, I am happy to report that they have finally started laying eggs. I got the first one on Sunday afternoon. Today I got 3 regular eggs and one soft shell. But I also have one hen that is poking holes in the eggs she lays. Luckily, when the soft shell egg was laid, MontyJ was able to get it before we had all the chickens after it.
Not quite sure how to get her to stop pecking holes in the eggs. Advice is appreciated.
It is tough to break the habit. I gave away a hen I caught doing that. The next owner did not have the sane problem.
 

so lucky

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If you know which hen is doing the pecking, make sure you leave her out of the coop when you lock up the other ones for the night.
(just kidding)
It may take some observing to see if it is her pecking her own egg, or pecking at random. If you can single her out, do you have room to isolate her? Put several golf balls in her nest, so she pecks at those a while and gives up, hopefully. You may have to get rid of her if she doesn't stop.
I had a chicken that would peck, but not eat the egg. I would find eggs with a hole pecked in the shell, but the membrane would be intact. We did use those eggs, just didn't try to store them very long.
 

digitS'

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Darkness.

I know pullets might drop an egg anywhere so things will be difficult with egg-eating at first.

Later, they will appreciate climbing into a nestbox. Make it a box, top/bottom/sides, with a hen-size opening. As soon as the nestboxes are being used, cover the opening with something that can block light, maybe, a heavy fabric.

They should find it easy to push their way in but difficult to see anything inside. Remember, chickens can't see well in the dark. If they can't see the egg, they don't eat it.

Worked for me :).

Steve
 

dewdropsinwv

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I'm going to get some burlap hung up tomorrow. It should keep out enough light that they cant see, but not too hot in their nest boxes. It's been a while since I have had pullets so I have forgetten a bit. Thanks everyone for the help. I will keep you posted.
 

Nyboy

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Serve her for dinner ( unless pet or rare breed) you dont want her teaching other hens to eat their eggs. Sorry about ones lost to raccoons :hugs you are lucky they did not kill all. They do kill for pleasure I had one kill all mine in one night. He ate 1 but killed all. Set traps he will be back
 

buckabucka

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Are the eggs that are getting eaten soft-shell? Whenever one of mine lays a soft-shelled egg, a hen inevitably puts their toe through it and it gets devoured. For some reason, they don't seem to make the connection between the broken egg and the firm shelled eggs that are in there, so the problem stops there.
If the hen is pecking through a firm shelled egg, that's another story. Hopefully the curtain will help. If you are around, it would be worth keeping a close eye on that one. The habit is contagious.
 
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