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  1. #1
    daisychook is offline Sprouter
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    Default Please help.chicken pecking/bullying issue

    Hi (will try and keep this short)
    we bought our first chooks last July, only started laying this year, so they were quite young, a Welsummer, Cream Legbar and Speckled Sussex - all came from the same place and pen. All was fine, then about 6wks ago the W and CL started picking on the SS - to the extent overnight they pecked a hole in her side that I could literally put my little finger into up to the 2nd knuckle. Ran to vets, who didnt hold out much hope, but have bathed, dressed and packed with wound powder (miracle stuff) and she has absolutely and completely healed. Put her back with W and CL, they started immediately picking on her again. Put her back in isolation, but she is not happy so bought a Maran to go with her. SS now bullied M, so M put in with W and CL (keep up!) and SS still on her own (so one extra chook, no solution to problem). M has laid three eggs and eaten two so another issue. She is now (we think) eating at least one egg a day usually the W, BTW the M doesnt lay. She was a 20 week old when we got her, does this make any difference as the other three were so young? Anyway put SS on own again. So today, both OH and me are in work, SS is in her shed come pen on her own without M (cos I dont want M to eat SS egg) The W and CL are in the normal run (so I can check if they have started egg eating and the M is in the run itself, so she cant eat the W or CL eggs.

    What can we do - my gut feeling is to take the Maran back (dont even know if we can do this and I do feel bad, but the situation is now worse than when SS first was ill - we have bullies and egg eating), and to get some banties to go with SS - I absolutely adore her, she is so cute, and has been through so much, I cant part with her as she hasnt done anything wrong.

    Until the recent problems, they all lived fine, and laid well, now the eggs are not so prolific, are being eaten and I have three factions in a very very small garden. Argh! No wonder I have gone to the office!!
    Joking aside we are really beside ourselves cos we dont know what to do and to think last week, my main concern was the colour of the paint for my chook house. Thank you for any advice)

  2. #2
    MURFE 18 is offline Seedling
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    Hi, Daisychook,sorry to have to tell you this but your egg eatter cannot be cured, best for the pot. if the other chooks see her doing this they will copy her as for the s/s try spraying her with vinegar/ water mix this might cure the problem.or run a pen next to the other 2 but donot let them get at each other for a day or two, see if that helps, all the best.
    Mick aka murfe 18

  3. #3
    daisychook is offline Sprouter
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    Hi
    Thank you for your reply. This morning have been on egg watch, awaiting for them to drop from their bottoms. !!
    The new Maran laid finally today (first in about two weeks) and I was waiting to see if she would try to eat it before taking it, but unbelieveably it isnt her, its my Welsummer!! So, now I have a real dilemma...

  4. #4
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    TPeers is offline Cropper
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    Oh wow, what a problem! I found my hens 'enjoying' an egg yesterday however I don't think they are egg eaters in the sense that you have - it was a shell-less egg from my speckledy (I think) and so fair game - neither of my hens seemed interested in the egg that was layed this morning (again the speckledy - a tinted egg with no speckles) - my bovens nera seems so far to lay a brown egg.

    I cleaned the coop - it was laid at the entrance to the coop rather than in the nest box - and sprayed with disinfectant to destroy the smell. (a bird safe version!)

    So... don't know if this is any help, but try to remove/destroy the broken eggs and remove/destroy the smell - that might limit the problem?

    I haven't kept hens long - weeks rather than years - so I am happy to be told I am wrong!

    Good luck finding a solution

    Terry

  5. #5
    daisychook is offline Sprouter
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    Default Update on egg eaters and bully

    Tonight we now have two factions. The Welsummer on her own (so sad) but she is the bully and the eater, and the others all in the shed on a perch made today!!!

    The SS who was bullied is only picked on by teh Welsummer, the Cream Legbar has been fine with her, so now it is the main culprit who is on her own.
    Need to stop her egg eating, then try to make her less of a cannibal on her penmates, if we cant do that we will keep the two factions separate. This wasnt what we wanted for our chickens, we wanted one pen with a few hens. Not various pens and runs with different gangs!! Still as you know whenever you look at chook books, they are always photographed in lush green lawns, when the reality is they eat it all within days!!

    If anyone has any ideas on how to stop egg eating/bullying other than what we are doing please shout!!!
    Thanks

  6. #6
    TPeers's Avatar
    TPeers is offline Cropper
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    A roll away nest box? I think you can get plans for them.

  7. #7
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    yoanbob is offline Cropper
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    dont think she'll be cured of egg eating, but try and place the her run next to the others so she can still socialize without getting to the others, your only hope is to keep her very occupied, try hanging lettuce up in string bags so she has to jump to get to them, and placing food on the floor for her to scratch, good luck!
    Yo an' Bob
    Walk lightly on the earth
    take only what you need
    give all you can
    and your produce will be bountifull

  8. #8
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    Birdie Wife is offline Cropper
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    I've got an egg-eater too, she started kicking eggs around to try and break them so I had to take the eggs out of the nestbox as soon as I found them. She hasn't lost her taste for them but I just hope she doesn't teach the others bad habits. If she is really persistent I'm afraid you might have to cull her, I know it's a shame but you just can't break them out of the habit once they've got it. If she was just eating eggs that happened to break, that's one thing, but from the sounds of it she's actually breaking the eggs deliberately, thats the worst case scenario really and you need to do something about it.

    Re bullying, I think you can buy little rose-tinted spectacles for the bully (no, I'm serious!!) which stop them going for red spots on the bullied hen.

    I'm gathering that it's the same hen eating eggs and bullying the SS? Hmm, sounds like you've got a bad 'un, best for the pot I'd say. And then you'd be back to same number of hens and a happy flock. One hen by itself won't be very happy in the long run, so think of the long-term happiness of all the birds. If you don't want to neck the bird yourself, try and find someone who's done it before, or take her to the vets. Sorry if this sounds heartless, I really do feel for you as you're the one who's cared for each hen and it's not your fault one of them has a bad personality.

    Dwell simply ~ love richly

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