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Author Topic: I saw something gross in my chicken yard!!!  (Read 2689 times)
Cindi
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« on: December 12, 2007, 08:21:34 AM »

Eeeks, I have been teaching my chickens that they have to go to bed when I want them to.  It is dark here now at 4:45 PM or so (can't wait for the winter solstace, coming soon, the days getting longer, yea!!!!).  That is right in the middle of when I am getting our supper ready.  So, I have been teaching all these lovelies that they have to go to bed earlier.  They are getting better at it, hee, hee.

Last night I was putting the chickens in their house.  There was this one lady that just plain and simply decided that she didn't want to go to bed.  Of course, Antonio, (the Rhode Island Red) appears to be the dude who is always the last one to go in.  I think he needs to guard or something making sure all the ladies are in.  He is a gentleman, the other rooster, Roquefort, I don't think is quite so gentlemanly.

Anyways I watching her, wondering why she was being so stubborn.  She went over half way across the yard and squatted down.  Oh brother, now what.  She popped out an egg, it was really weird, it just kind of plopped out on the ground.  She immediately turned around and pecked it, gross, it just splashed and burst and squished on the ground.  Then she started to eat it.  Eeeks!!!  I really hope that she is not one of those egg eaters.  I went over and kicked some dirt on it and covered it up, thought that would be best, maybe I should have let her finish it off.

Now what I am curious about something that I bet someone can enlighten me about.

Is this an instinct to leave no trace behind, as when animals in the wild clean up the mess after birthing their young?  Anyone know.

I know all animals don't leave a trace of any birthing material around, that is their instinct, this prevents predators from smelling blood and stuff.

Now this brings about another question, hoping someone can give a good answer to.

When the chicken lays the egg, obviously it is soft.  How long before the egg hardens with the shell after being laid.  I have on occasion found an egg that was just the membrane, that is eeky and eerie.  So, those are the thoughts and questions for the day.  Have a beautiful and great day, great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2007, 08:38:31 AM »

the eggs that come out of my chickens are hard...they don't harden after being laid. i also get weird eggs that have thin or no shell. my chickens also peck and eat their own eggs sometimes. my wife put these ceramic eggs in the nest boxes hoping that the hens would be fooled and not peck any. i'm not sure that it works. i guess they peck and eat eggs because they taste good.
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 09:31:30 AM »

Hmm, I am also remembering that eggs are hard when they come out.  When the hen would start to cackle we'd quick stick our hands under her and we'd get a big steaming hot egg laid right in our hand.  Thinking back on it it does sound rather disgusting. rolleyes

Now I'm not a chicken expert by any means, but I would think that if they are laying soft eggs that there is a deficiency, particularly calcium.  That might also be a reason for them eating them.  But this is just speculation on my part, take it with a grain of salt. 
It might also be a young chicken just developing.  The coolest part of having chickens was the young hens still on brooder feed laying eggs with 2, 3, even 4 yolks in them.

When we would butcher the hens sometimes they'd have a series of eggs in them, from the  undeveloped to the developed but soft to hard.

Rick
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2007, 09:53:32 AM »

I have seen this as well with my birds, I am anxious to hear what everyone has to say. I had heard that when a bird is light on protien they will start to eat their own eggs to maintain the protien levels. I don't know. They will eat the feathers of other birds as well. So anyway, I look forward to finding out the answer to that question.
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2007, 09:57:39 AM »

Ooooh, OK, so, maybe I don't understand the life of the egg.  I have never actually touched an egg right after it was laid.  Sounds like they do come out of the bodies hard.  That is a good thing to know, and thinking about it -- makes good sense.  The eggs must be hard when they come out or they would be crushed by the body of the chicken, yea!!!!!!  Knowledge gained.

Still, I wonder why some eggs don't have the hard shell.....that isn't answered, yet.  We give the chickens free range of oyster shell stuff, so I don't think there is a calcium deficiency, unless I just don't know what else is required in their diet, they get 16% layer pellets as food.

Rick, I have seen that "string" of eggs before in the chicken when we have butchered some.  That kind of makes me cry.   Don't know why, but I find that part upsetting.  Maybe I am a ball baby, some things just make me starting that water that leaks from my eyeballs.  I don't like it.

My Sister and I measured the bones above the vent in all of our hens the other day.  We have about 8 hens to slaughter and a few roosters.  I can only hope to my stars above that none of the girls have eggs within their bodies.  That would not bring that smile to my face, nor would it make my day beautiful.  Eeeks!!!

Have a wonderful and beautiful day, love this life we live.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2007, 10:21:50 AM »

I think giving oyster shells will cure the problem. I've had this to happen to me also. They are not getting enough calcium.
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 02:18:00 PM »

i wouldn't concern myself with the soft laid eggs unless you get a lot of them. an occasional softee is fine. it just came out before it was ready.
are you getting a lot of them and no hard ones? if your hens are free range then there shouldn't be any mineral deficiencies.
our hens haven't been laying for a while and 1 of them just started again. i've been discussing this with them and asking that they try harder...they seem to be ignoring me. kinda like kids.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 09:18:55 PM »

Hi Cindi!
Try doing what PTTom said. Feed them oyster shells or some other type of grit. Also, know that the grit is to grind down grain types of food,( corn, milo, peas, wheat, you know, the hard stuff). Perhaps, if you give the birds a treat or even a diet of grain The grit will wear down in their gizzards quicker, getting into the chickens system which, in effect, will make the eggshells harder. I'm just guessing that you feed the chickens processed food. Usually processed food does have the minerals in it to make eggshells harder but unless I see it for myself its seems a more sure thing to try a mineral/grit supplement.
 Then again, you probably wont see this same thing again for a long time...Kinda like when your car acts up...you take it to the mechanic and it acts fine. You go ahead and drive home and you start wondering if you're ever going to make it!
your friend,
john
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 09:34:55 PM »

If you see a hen eat an egg, you need to mark her immediately for dispatch in the near future.  She will eat all your eggs and teach the rest of the hens to eat eggs if you don't.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2007, 09:59:25 PM »

Eeeks, I have been teaching my chickens that they have to go to bed when I want them to.  It is dark here now at 4:45 PM or so (can't wait for the winter solstace, coming soon, the days getting longer, yea!!!!).  That is right in the middle of when I am getting our supper ready.  So, I have been teaching all these lovelies that they have to go to bed earlier.  They are getting better at it, hee, hee.

I use a timer on the light in the coop.  longer light equals more eggs.

Quote
Last night I was putting the chickens in their house.  There was this one lady that just plain and simply decided that she didn't want to go to bed.  Of course, Antonio, (the Rhode Island Red) appears to be the dude who is always the last one to go in.  I think he needs to guard or something making sure all the ladies are in.  He is a gentleman, the other rooster, Roquefort, I don't think is quite so gentlemanly.

A good rooster always makes sure the hens are at roost before he retires, he also wakes them up to get down to business.

Quote
Anyways I watching her, wondering why she was being so stubborn.  She went over half way across the yard and squatted down.  Oh brother, now what.  She popped out an egg, it was really weird, it just kind of plopped out on the ground.  She immediately turned around and pecked it, gross, it just splashed and burst and squished on the ground.  Then she started to eat it.  Eeeks!!!  I really hope that she is not one of those egg eaters.  I went over and kicked some dirt on it and covered it up, thought that would be best, maybe I should have let her finish it off.

Once a egg eater, always an egg eater.  Solution requires quick use of a stew pot.

Quote
Now what I am curious about something that I bet someone can enlighten me about.
Is this an instinct to leave no trace behind, as when animals in the wild clean up the mess after birthing their young?  Anyone know.
I know all animals don't leave a trace of any birthing material around, that is their instinct, this prevents predators from smelling blood and stuff.

The chickens will eat the shattered shells of the hatched eggs after the chicks are hatched.  It restores the calcium used for laying eggs.

Quote
Now this brings about another question, hoping someone can give a good answer to.
When the chicken lays the egg, obviously it is soft.  How long before the egg hardens with the shell after being laid.  I have on occasion found an egg that was just the membrane, that is eeky and eerie.  So, those are the thoughts and questions for the day.  Have a beautiful and great day, great health.  Cindi

To cure soft shelled eggs mix oyster shell grit in with the laying mash/crumbles/pellets.  Red Oyster shell is best as it also contains extra minerals that poultry needs.  The best way I've found is to mix 50 lbs of "Red Oyster Shell Grit" into 200 lbs of lay feed--feed it together.  The grit turns to dust in the process of grinding the feed the chicken eats and is then absorbed by the chicken to make hard shells.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 07:41:29 PM by Brian D. Bray » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 12:17:21 AM »

So wait a minute the scaley feet, deformed legs, weepy bubbly eyes, and their cannibals?

What planet did you get your fowl from?

Is there a takeover invasion planned?

I am not sure I am getting my wife chickens.  Wink

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Angi_H
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 01:14:54 AM »

OK OK THE EGG EATING ISSUE;

Chickens will do this if for some reason they were cracked when they hit the ground they will smell it and they love to eat egg. Just try to remove it as soon as possible. Now just because a hen eats an egg dosnt mean she will turn into an egg eater. Many breeders when they have a ton of extra eggs will just boil them and then smash them up shell and all but mashed up with boiled and cooled egg is the only way they should be alowed to eat them. It gives animal protien as well as calcium that is easier to digest. It is very very good for them. But They all do it now and then. If they are board if they are getting to much protien or not enough proiten they will start this. Calcium has not a lot to do with it. Now with soft eggs meaning they are mostly membraines this is one of those freaks of nature things. They usually happen when the hen or pullet first starts off there laying cycle of the season. When starting out there cycles will not be in sync and sometimes they miss that last cycle. If they already have oystershell in there pen make sure it is fresh and not old and hard. You can try giving them just grit with oystershell. It is a mistake that happens also if they are getting old and past laying age. Allot of factors are in there. When was the last time they were wormed? This could cause them to go out of sync with there laying cycles. Just like the double yolk egg. 9 times out of 10 it is a pullet just in her first laying cycle or a hen when she starts laying again. Then you get those hens who pass it on to there daughters and they do it and you breed for it. There is allot more to this but dont worry about it from time to time. I know it is weard but it happens. Let me know if you want more info .

Angi
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2007, 08:22:16 AM »

Seems we are doing things mostly right.  They have oyster shell, free range (lots of gritty stuff around our place).  I have only on a couple of occasions seen soft shelled eggs, maybe twice in a couple of years, that I have seen, maybe there has been more, but not in the laying boxes.  I'll keep an eye on this girl, she was the brown one, hee, hee  Wink Smiley Smiley, lots of brown ones, but she caught my eye.

In the bunch of new chickens that we got a couple of months ago, they are all well and looking mighty fine.  The cold that they had is gone and they are having a great time of life.

I get a kick out of one of them though.  She is like the underdog or something.  She slinks around all the time, healthy as can be (or so appears), it is like she is afraid of all the other chickens, although no one hurts or bothers her.  How to describe it....hard.

She kind of squats when she walks, all the time, this is the way that she walks, and it is rather weird, because it looks like she is always trying to hide, keeping herself low to the ground.  According to the width of the measured bones in her back end, she is one that is going to the bone yard, so she will have that peace come to her soul  grin shocked  Have a wonderful and beautiful day.  By the way, I love all the comments that my forum friends make on topics, they are great to read, makes some interesting reading.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2007, 08:54:40 AM »

Quote
She kind of squats when she walks, all the time, this is the way that she walks, and it is rather weird, because it looks like she is always trying to hide, keeping herself low to the ground.

Actually, its because she was an escaped convict in her previous life. grin  Fitting, huh?

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Rick
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2007, 08:06:20 PM »

Hmmmm...So, Cindi...It was the "Brown One" eh'?
  Have I seen you on "Kid Nation" recently?
your friend,
john
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2007, 01:12:32 AM »

Lmao did you See Kid Nation last night? The kids took there fav chickens to there bunks so they could run around and then so they could take them home ha ha it was so funny.



Angi
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2007, 08:17:57 PM »

Naaahhh, I missed most of it but i could hear some of what was going on. I wanted to see it as it was the last episode. I saw when they gave that last star to the boy. At the end did all the kids get a star?
Hmmm...I think you and me are in the wrong forum!...Heee heee...!
your friend,
john
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2007, 08:45:19 PM »

OK OK THE EGG EATING ISSUE;
Chickens will do this if for some reason they were cracked when they hit the ground they will smell it and they love to eat egg. Just try to remove it as soon as possible.

That's the way most egg eaters get started, by accident.

Quote
Now just because a hen eats an egg dosnt mean she will turn into an egg eater.

The 1st time, probably not, but the more eggs they eat the more apt they are to make it a habit.  If soft shelled or cracked eggs aren't removed on a very tiimely way the chances of several hens becoming eggs eaters are very high.  Once they become addicted to eating eggs they will turn around and eat their own egg while it's still hot.   A dedicated egg eater will even force hens off the nest to get at the eggs, or in the case of a broody hen, eat the eggs right out from under her.  I know I had this happen when my neighbor moved and gave me his lone hen.  She ate all but 1 each out from under both bantum hens.  She suffered a sudden ax-ident, that cured her egg eating.

Quote
Many breeders when they have a ton of extra eggs will just boil them and then smash them up shell and all but mashed up with boiled and cooled egg is the only way they should be alowed to eat them. It gives animal protien as well as calcium that is easier to digest. It is very very good for them.

I do it too, feeding it to my pigeons just before the eggs hatch and during the 1st week after hatch gives the young a good boost.  Feeding minced boiled
is a good starter food for most just hatched fowl.

Quote
If they are board if they are getting to much protien or not enough proiten they will start this. Calcium has not a lot to do with it. Now with soft eggs meaning they are mostly membraines this is one of those freaks of nature things. They usually happen when the hen or pullet first starts off there laying cycle of the season. When starting out there cycles will not be in sync and sometimes they miss that last cycle. If they already have oystershell in there pen make sure it is fresh and not old and hard. You can try giving them just grit with oystershell.

Oyster shell is grit.  A lack of calcium produces thin or soft shelled eggs.  Otster shell is high in calcium. The birds use oyster shell as grit until it gets ground to a powder and then absorbed as food.  If you're feeding oyster shell you don't need to provide grit.  In order to make sure that the birds comsume the grit provided it is best to mix it into the feed.  Just having available, a al carte, in a seperate dish doesn't mean they'll make use of the grit.

Quote
It is a mistake that happens also if they are getting old and past laying age.

If a hen is past it's laying age it is worthless for anything other than show or a pet.  If you're going to keep such a bird, isolate it from the laying flock.

Quote
Allot of factors are in there. When was the last time they were wormed? This could cause them to go out of sync with there laying cycles. Just like the double yolk egg. 9 times out of 10 it is a pullet just in her first laying cycle or a hen when she starts laying again. Then you get those hens who pass it on to there daughters and they do it and you breed for it. There is allot more to this but dont worry about it from time to time. I know it is weard but it happens. Let me know if you want more info.

Angi

A double yoke eggs occurs as a pullet beginning to lay, in old age as the hen begins to quit laying, and often after resuming egg laying after a moult. occassional treatment for disease prevention should be done during the moult so as not to trigger a disruption in laying once they resume.
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2007, 01:26:18 AM »

I was talking about grit not oystershell. Oystershell is just for calcium the Grit is a mineralized sand and has small mineral pieces as well has mineral oil on it and has some oyster shell in it as well. They also have one that has added vitamins. It is basically a mineralized sand mixture with added Oyster Shell I feed both because they need both if they are out free ranging in clay soil areas. If they are in sandy areas where the sand is course then you dont need to add grit. Chicks need grit as well to help them eat you can buy chick grit.

Many breeders also just crack the raw eggs in a pan and crush up the egg shells and feed it to the chickens that way as well. I do this when I dont have time to boil them and the only time I ever have them eat eggs are when they are knocked togather and get cracked or one steps on it wrong and puts a claw through it then they smell it and go for it and eat it. And I can never get to it in time as it is gone before I know it. With 20+ in the one laying pen it is not going to happen to get it in time. And I know it was an accident because they always leave the eggs that have not been cracked by accident. I have had chickens for over 25 years and have yet to have an egg eater and that is with even cracking an egg I went to gather and I broke it I just crack it to the ground and then smash up the shell and let hem eat it.


Lack of calcium in not the only reason a hen will lay a soft shelled egg. There are other issues like sickness, Partonitis (infection in the stomach) or out of sync cycle or new layer or old layer,


I do maintnance on them 4x a year with the seasions 1 is Worm, 2 if Vaccinations if needed, 3 trim nails if to long, De Spur the roos if they have grown to long or have to pointy of a spike on it. You can just pull the spur off with plyers there is a neat trick to it ask if you would like to know. Check everyone for mites or lice to see if the mice or other wild birds has brought them in. Hince the worming 4 times a year. And last but not least is an a physical exam to see how they are health wise and make notes in the book. Also if need be seperate ones who are fighting or not getting along. Change roosters etc.
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