We have a chicken, we think it’s Football, who has been pecking her eggs (and sometimes some of the other hens’ eggs) lately. Sometimes they are poked all the way through, other times, it’s just pecked enough to crack it slightly. We thought they would get over it, and we can still eat them (as long as we eat them quickly) but then we saw some completely smashed and cracked open eggs recently so we thought we better try to do something about it. We had no idea how to stop a chicken from pecking her own eggs, so I researched it.
I read an article online about this that said it is a very difficult habit to break (no pun intended) once they’ve started to peck them. If they find the contents of their own eggs, they will no doubt find them tasty. (This is a strange thing to me, that they would eat their possible future progeny, I don’t get that from an evolutionary perspective, but anyhow…)
So, one person advised to cover an egg in vaseline. They would not like it because of the taste and consistency. Another article, and my parents, suggested to add calcium supplements to make the egg shells stronger and harder, and more difficult to crack. Another article said to add really hot and spicy hot sauce to the inside of the egg and put it back outside. If they decided to eat it, they would be in for a hot shock.
So we decided to do all of these! Britton stopped by the feed store for some crushed oyster shells (about $6). They seemed to really like it! Then I set about making an ugly HOT egg.
First, I took a pecked egg and made the hole a little bigger to get rid of the white and yolk and to add the new hot contents:
Then I chopped up some habaneros, added some olive oil, tasbasco-style sauce and water.
Then I put all the contents into the egg and sealed it with scotch tape. Finally, I covered it with vaseline to make this lovely thing:
We put it out yesterday and so far, I’ve collected 3 unpecked eggs today. The deterrent egg is still out there untouched! We’ll see if it’s a fluke or if it continues to work, but so far, so good! And the egg shells do feel thicker and stronger now with the calcium oyster shells…