Outsmarting the dreaded "Egg Eater"
Outsmarting the dreaded "Egg Eater" -- 2 hrs, some scrap materials, and a little creativity solved the issue!
I'm sure if you've had chickens long enough, you have experienced the annoyance of bits of shell and pasted egg yolk at the bottom of your laying box. It isn't cool...not at all! First, you don't want a single bird to train the entire flock to devour your precious hatching or eating eggs. Second, it just detracts from the whole operation - you have spent too much time and money to lose eggs.
Before modifying anything you must ask yourself these questions because there may be a common link to the problem: Am I feeding them enough...are they lacking something that makes them desire more protein/calcium? Am I leaving eggs in the laying box too long? Is the amount of nest material adequate? I'm sure there are more, but those come to mind. Try to fix those issues first if you see egg eating occurring because it may be a bigger issue you need to address especially if its feed related.
I calculated my feed ration, and was good there. We regularly go out and collect eggs. I found out my problem. Occasionally, my big fat Black Copper Marans hen(s) were kicking away a lot of the pine shavings, and crushing eggs on the wooden floor of the nesting box. This gave at least one hen a taste, and after that she really gorged on eggs. No wonder my eggs weren't as plentiful as I thought. I tried to simply collect the eggs before they could be eaten. That worked some of the time, but not consistent enough for my liking. So....I researched how to make a roll-away nesting box. Well, I didn't start from scratch, I was able to find a few needed items around the garage and shed, and retrofit my existing boxes.
Check out the photos below for more information on how I outsmarted my egg eating hen! Hope this may help someone with a similar issue.:)
BTW-There are better materials to use for the nest box flooring instead of this carpet, its just what I had on hand.