Why do chickens peck eggs, and what should you do?
Laying eggs with laying hens is a fairly common problem that most poultry breeders face, regardless of which breed of chickens they contain. This phenomenon can significantly reduce the productivity of the poultry farm. Therefore, it is necessary to identify it in time and start a fight with it. How to overcome such a deviation in the behavior of birds, we will tell in this article.
Why do chickens peck eggs?
The most common causes of eggs cracking at any time of the year are:
- lack of calcium and vitamin D;
- not enough protein enters the body with food;
- violation of the lighting mode;
- limited walking space;
- poor conditions in the chicken coop.
Consider in more detail some of them and tell you how to change the situation for the better.
Did you know? Usually female birds, being «on demolitions», try to equip their nest. But there are exceptions to this rule - chicken. They can «take a seat»to snuggle in any place you like, even in someone else’s nest. There were cases that they found an egg on the back of another bird, which quietly sat in its nest.
An unbalanced diet of laying hens is the most common cause of eggs to crack. Any living creature instinctively feels that something is missing in its body, and it begins to look for all kinds of ways to make up for the deficiency of substances. The eggshell contains many vitamins and minerals, so the instinct of self-preservation makes the bird go to such a "crime".Also, often the owners themselves give the eggs eggs to the layers to saturate the body with the necessary elements, in particular calcium. And often this shell is not given according to the rules: in its pure form, unwashed, with the remains of protein. Therefore, accustomed to the aroma of the additive, the bird has a desire to independently obtain the same food.
Bouts of aggression
Attacks of aggression can cause stressful situations:
- moving to a new place;
- violation of the light mode;
- a sharp change in temperature;
- high density of livestock per square meter.
Chicken is by nature a curious bird. Having discovered an object unknown to her, she will certainly try to peck it in order to check for edibility. Smelling the smell of protein and yolk from an emerging crack in the shell, which, according to some scientists, the bird really likes, she will not be able to restrain herself from enjoying them. In addition, according to scientists, chickens have a herd instinct and, having discovered that one individual is doing something or eating, the rest will want to try the same.
How to stop biting eggs with chickens?
Having discovered such a phenomenon as cracking eggs, you must immediately look for ways to wean the laying hen from this, because such a phenomenon can become a habit and then it is easy to lose both future offspring and high productivity indicators.
Nutrition and Diet
It is very important that the diet of the layer is varied. It is necessary to give as much as possible various nutritious feeds and do not forget to include vitamin-mineral supplements in the menu.
This is what it is advisable to give to a layer to replenish the balance of necessary substances.
|Nutrients||Products containing them|
|Protein (takes part in the structure of the body of the bird and the formation of eggs)||Sunflower meal and cake, rapeseed, soy, bone meal, fish waste, shellfish and amphibians.|
|Fats (energy sources)||Grain, corn, oats.|
|Carbohydrates (involved in various processes in the body)||Potatoes, fodder beets, carrots, pumpkin, grain.|
|Mineral substances (take part in the formation processes)||Chalk, gravel, bone meal, lime, wood ash, shell.|
Using pharmacy products
The simplest pharmacy tool that can be used in the fight against cracking eggs is iodine. It is enough to add a few drops to drinking water, and if the problem is associated with a deficiency of this element in the body, it will disappear. If the problem has become widespread, then the following drugs can be used:
- Rex Vital;
Important! If the desired effect is not observed, then apply «Methionine» or «Biovestin» at a dosage of 10 g / 10 kg of feed.
You can use people's advice to solve the problem. They are considered the most harmless to birds.
Fake Egg Lining
A fairly common way to get rid of addiction. As a dummy of eggs, you can use gypsum products similar in shape, size and color to eggs laid by a laying hen. Some lay a regular tennis ball or take a real egg, pour out all its contents through a small hole and fill it with a solution of pepper or mustard. If you try to peck a hard egg or try the sharp contents, the bird will instantly lose the desire to do something similar in the future.
This technique is most often applied in poultry farms. Beak trimming there is a must for all laying hens. In this way, birds are weaned not only to peck eggs, but also to peck each other, causing injuries. The procedure consists in cutting the sharp part of the beak with a special tool. At home, a regular file or nippers will help to carry out the procedure.
Important! It is advisable to debark (pruning) immediately to young animals, as their beak is not yet as hard as in adult birds. After trimming, it is advisable to burn the damaged area with a hot metal object.
Improvement of conditions of keeping and walking
If you feed your chickens with balanced feeds, give all the necessary supplements and they look good, but they peck and drink eggs, then maybe they do not walk enough or something is wrong with the conditions of detention. Chickens cannot constantly sit in one place. They need movement, because while walking they seek food for themselves. If they have a small walking yard, or there is not enough greenery on it, or they walk extremely rarely, then this depresses the birds and causes aggression. To at least occupy themselves and distract themselves, they peck eggs.Therefore, it is worth equipping a spacious place for walking, and it is desirable that the site is seeded with grass. If there is no way to build a walking yard, then you need to let out hens just into the yard. Also, daylighting has a beneficial effect on the emotional state of birds, especially if there is poor lighting in the chicken coop.
It is necessary to control that the room always has a comfortable temperature (not lower than –5 ° C), average humidity and good ventilation. Sometimes a deviation in behavior is associated with an untimely change of litter and non-compliance with hygiene rules in the chicken coop. The manifestation of unusual habits is often associated with poor design of the nest. If the bird is crowded in it, then it can easily damage the eggshell and, smelling the aroma of their contents through the crack, will certainly want to feast on it.
Egg bite prophylaxis
Preventive measures include a number of procedures that will prevent damage to eggs by laying hens:
- Regular egg collection.
- Equipment for the chicken coop and walking yard. You can place a dunghill, where the chicken will be happy to dig in search of edible or hang cabbage leaves.
- In winter, before going to bed, it is better for chickens to give cereals rather than compound feed, as they digest longer and release energy for a longer time to warm the bird, which saves it from anxiety.
Did you know? In the Soviet Union (1977) and in America (1971) a unique phenomenon was recorded: the laying of chicken eggs with nine yolks.
Egg biting is a pathological change in the behavior of the bird, which can cause great damage to the entire poultry farm. Therefore, it is extremely important to detect the problem in time and start the fight against it, and also try to prevent its occurrence.