We love our chickens and they provide our friends and us with delicious healthy eggs. But they can be an exasperating lot at times.
Lately a couple of our hens have taken to pecking eggs. They’ll break open an egg with their beaks and eat the yolk out of it.
This has happened in the past and I’ve always let it slide. If I catch a hen in the act I try to make it an unpleasant experience for her, but I’ve never culled a hen from the flock for that reason.
That was probably a mistake, since eggpecking can be a learned behavior. It’s best to remove the teacher before she has any students.
It’s out of hand now. Some days they eat as many as five eggs. That, of course, is totally unacceptable.
When I’ve mentioned to some folks that we have some eat-eating chickens it freaks them out. A typical response is to say it sounds like cannibalism. With chickens, however, it should come as no surprise. They’ll eat virtually anything, including each other if given the opportunity.
So solving the eggpecking problem has become a priority. In our case there is no nutritional deficiency behind the behavior. It’s just that a couple of the birds have discovered how good the eggs taste.
We’ll just hope that the problem can be easily solved.