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Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your chickens, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

My chickens have turned cannibals
10

KatyMac · 29/04/2009 15:18

They are pecking & eating their eggs

Is this because they are lacking something in their diet or have they turned into vicious rabid monsters?

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MadameCheese · 29/04/2009 15:41

Sorry for having nothing helpful to add but your title made me think they were eating each other!

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bramblebooks · 29/04/2009 15:42

They like them too much!!!

If you're at work and can't egg pick reasonably regularly, some people suggest blowing an egg and putting mustard into the shell to put the little dears off eating their own.

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MadameCheese · 29/04/2009 15:52

Ooo yes mustard, a chap from Omlet said he was doing this as his hens were doing the same!

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KatyMac · 29/04/2009 22:03

O-Kaaaay

That sounds a bit odd - but I'll give it a go

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2Shoots · 01/05/2009 08:47

you need to trim their beaks to stop them having a sharp beak to pick at the eggs. Get some clippers fromt he pet shop- the ones that you use to trim dogs nails and take the very end of the hens' beaks off

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duchesse · 01/05/2009 08:51

Do they have enough grass and green? My very old chicken keeper book (a bloke named Jim Worthington) suggests this might partly cause this. However, the only "cure" I've heard of that works is identifying and culling the culprits before they teach all the others how to do it. My elderly neighbour suggested the strong mustard thing too so I suppose it may be worth a try.

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duchesse · 01/05/2009 08:52

And please please do NOT trim their beaks- it may be horn but is sensitive and causes them a lot of pain. It is part of the horrible things done to battery hens, and should not be needed in a small flock. It is not all like trimming the claws.

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melancholymum · 02/05/2009 13:53

Is it anything to do with a lack of grit in their diet? Just an idea?

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KatyMac · 04/05/2009 10:25

How do they get grit in their diet?

am I supposed to buy it & add it?

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JackBauerKillsPigs · 04/05/2009 10:42

MY lovebirds eat their eggs cometimes, especially the one that has a known calcium problem. I add calcivet to their water at breeding time to help, might be worth a try?
Birds tend to only eat thigns their body needs.

Grit is also a good idea as they use it to grind up the food in their stomachs. Parrot type birds don't need it as they have 'grinding' beaks so I have no epxerience of it but birds like cacnaries and other 'pecking' birds do need it.

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