Hey there and happy Friday!
Thought I’d update you all today on an issue we’ve been having with our feathered ladies. About a week or so ago, I started noticing that every time I would go collect eggs from our coop, they were smashed and broken.
At first I thought, “huh, that’s weird,” but after a few days of noticing this was developing a pattern, I started getting more concerned. After a little research, I realized I had a major problem on my hands…my chickens were eating their eggs!
Yup. They do it. I know it’s weird, but who ever said chickens were normal?
The problem with this is that once they get a taste of yolk, they discover they really love it. They become chicken-obsessed with eating them, some even waiting next to the hen in the coop laying, just so they can immediately go-to-town on her freshly laid prize.
There’s no real reason as to “why” they do it, it just happens. All of my hens are well fed and watered, allowed access to oyster shell supplement and given scraps of kitchen treats on a regular basis. So it definitely is not an issue of neglect in my case.
They’re just jerks sometimes.
I tried a few “natural remedies” like placing golf balls inside the coop to “trick them” into thinking their eggs weren’t peck-able, but that didn’t work.
The only way for me to get any eggs was to sit out beside the coop in the mornings between 9 – 11 am (when they typically lay their eggs) and wait for each hen to lay her egg, then quickly open the door and grab it before the other hens had time to smash it to pieces.
This method is NOT practical! Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!
On to Plan B.
My friends who own a local farm offered to come and help me clip off the ends of the chickens’ beaks. I know this might sound harsh, but it is commonly done to prevent egg-eating in flocks.
The method is just like clipping off the end of a dogs’ toenail and most of the time, removing the sharp point will prevent the chicken from being able to break open the egg with their beak.
Let me tell you, trying to catch 5 chickens when they squawk and run and hide from you isn’t exactly a fun job. Every time we managed to catch a chicken, we marked its foot with some blue spray paint so we could tell which ones we had already done.
Between the 3 of us, we managed to one by one, clip each beak, then return the chickens to their coop. (there was a lot of feathers, blue paint, and even some blood involved, but we got the job done!)
Now it’s a waiting game to see if this will do the trick in solving our birds-behaving-badly dilemma. Honestly, I am prepared for “starting over” with a new batch of chicks if it doesn’t help, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
I still love chickens.
But they really can be jerks sometimes.
(And if you noticed, I didn’t include any photos from this actual process in this post…I figured I’d spare you the unpleasant visual details and just show you some cute “chicken” photos from my kitchen instead!)
And how about this little farm from my calendar this month? I want to live there someday!