A few weeks ago our chickens quit laying eggs. One day we were getting 5 a day and the next day we didn’t have any. Usually this means they aren’t getting enough food, they are too cold, or they aren’t getting the right nutrients from their feed and it happens more often during the winter. Chickens can also stop laying when they molt but most of our chickens molted over the last few months and it is rare that all of them would molt at once.
Our first step was to check the heat lamp and it was still on. The next culprit, a lack of food, was checked and the chickens were getting plenty of food. This left one dreaded reason that we could think of for why the eggs were disappearing. OUR CHICKENS WERE EATING THEIR YOUNG!
This is not an uncommon thing. If chickens accidentally crack their eggs they might taste them and find that they like them. This will lead to the chickens cracking the eggs by pecking them and eating all of the eggs. To make sure that your eggs don’t crack accidentally, make sure that you add soft padding to the nests and make sure your chickens aren’t too crowded as this can lead to more trampled, cracked eggs.
I was really worried that our chickens were eating the eggs since I have heard that once they start they might never quit. We read online that if your chickens are eating your eggs, that you can add golf balls to the nest. This will often lead to your chickens pecking the golf balls, and quitting since it isn’t pleasant to hit a golf ball with your beak. Try throwing a golf ball at your teeth and you will know what I mean. We didn’t have any golf balls, but we did have some plastic Easter eggs so we decided to give it a shot and throw them into the nest. I don’t know if it is a pre-Easter miracle, but this colorful method worked and we started getting eggs again. For the first few days the chickens were cracking our Easter eggs open but they have quit cracking both so I guess they decided it wasn’t worth the effort to guess which eggs are real and which are fake. Now I can have eggs for breakfast again.
I guess chickens aren’t as smart as I thought.
Tell us if you have experienced something similar and how your resolved the problem.