Friday, April 24, 2015
The Egg Eating Chicken
A few weeks back, I noticed our egg production down, and wondered what was up.
While I was in the barn awaiting Misty's birth (goat), a few chickens got back into the barn into the coop. I heard some loud squawks and looked over. Lo' and behold, the no-name black araucana was chasing a barred rock around. Then I saw her bully two barred rocks from the roosts, and put her head into the roost.
I was certain I had my very first case of an egg eating chicken. I put her in the emergency (just a small spare one for sick/injured chickens) coop for over a week. I noticed egg shells in her coop on some days and others not one egg. While in the other coop, I would get 11 or more eggs.
I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and keep her from the stew pot, to see if she'd stop eating the eggs.
You can blow out an egg for this trick, but I simply took an egg from breakfast, and filled it with mustard. I gently pressed the two eggs shells together, to look like the egg again. I read that chickens hate mustard, and this would eventually stop her from eating them.
We did this every day for a week. I continued to keep her separated (just plain luck that I found which one was doing it).
I also put some treats in each coop to keep boredom at bay, during the night and early morning, before I let them out.
The results? The first day, she attacked the egg with madness, but left half of it. I left it in there, and she ate it. So I wondered if I had a chicken that liked mustard?
Day 2, I put another egg in her coop, also filled with mustard. She ate all of it.
She continued to eat the entire egg for a few more days, and after that started leaving portions. However, in that time, she did not lay an egg. Or she was, and she continued to eat them before I got to the coop early morning.
I then placed two golf balls in the coop as and continued to offer her treats, protein, and mustard filled eggs.
As of today, I have not gotten one egg from her since I have isolated her. I still let her out with the others, but put her back in her own coop at night.
Her demise? She's heading for the stew pot, unless anyone has any other ideas.