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It’s Curtains For My Chickens!

Published on May 19, 2014 by Penny Roberts in Chicken Care

It’s Curtains For My Chickens!

A few weeks ago I wrote about how some of my chickens had got into the naughty habit of eating their eggs. Often this behaviour is stimulated by a calcium deficiency in a chicken’s diet. 

However in this case my chickens have an excellent diet with plenty of food, water, grit and space to run around they keep doing it. Another reason could be boredom, but the danger is that if one starts to do it then others may follow so it’s important to break the cycle as soon as possible. 

Previously I tried placing English mustard on old bread inside some egg shells to put them off, and this certainly seemed to produce positive results within days. Unfortunately it wasn’t too long before I began to see the tell-tale signs of eaten eggs again. 

A change of strategy was called for. I figured that perhaps if they couldn’t see the eggs on display quite as easily then effectively temptation would be reduced. So I decided to make a curtain for the nesting boxes. I took some garden canvas (actually it was an old BBQ cover that had seen better days), cut it to size.n There was a little gap above the floor of the nesting boxes and also some vertical gaps so that the chickens could peer inside and know that it was still OK to enter to lay their eggs. Then I simply stapled it to the coop. Naturally this also made the nesting boxes much darker inside, as if the chickens were in their ‘bedroom’ with the curtains closed. 

Amazingly I got instant results! It worked really well because rather than the girls only using 2 of the 4 nest boxes available to lay in – they now used all four. More importantly…the egg eating stopped completely!! 

I only dare keep the curtain up for a week so as not to create any warm corners for red mite to move in. As canvas would be quite expensive to replace each time I clean the girls out, I’m now going to try it with a bin liner. But it certainly seem to have retrained the girls more effectively that the mustard trick, and reduced their egg eating habit.    

It’s Curtains For My Chickens!

Tags: chickens, eating eggs, red mite, curtains, mustard

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