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 Post subject: Cannibal Chook
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:55 am 
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One of our orphaned chooks, the one that was being bullied in its previous home has, turned cannibal. I caught her 'in flagrante delicto' as I had had my suspicions. Her eggs do have thin shells, probably because she is geriatric, but she's still producing every day. I've been working on building calcium intake. I 'll give her the benefit of the doubt that it started innocently, but now it's a behaviour and we don't want the other two to catch on. She has pecked me a few times (toes) but all still seems harmonious amongst the inmates. They roost and share the food without argument or aggression and she's starting to regrow feathers at the bald spots she had when we got her. I think she's a psycho chook as a result of previous treatment.

Now I've done a lot of reading and have learned about strategies such as -

fake eggs
coating fake eggs with chilli/mustard
putting chilli/mustard in a broken shell
gathering eggs quickly (not always possible. My husband was sneaking around this morning to try to beat her to it, but she outsmarted him)
separating her somehow
forcing a moult
roll away nest box (would need major redesign of the chook house)
the cook pot (unlikely to happen)

Does anyone have other strategies that we can put into place quickly while we investigate a separate arrangement with roll away cage?


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 Post subject: Re: Cannibal Chook
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:56 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
I had some success by penning an egg eater with a lot of golf balls on the floor and in the nest boxes - concussion of the beak being the dis-incentive. I did however do this during the off lay season so that there were no rewards. By the time laying re commenced the habit was broken. I doubt if the chilli/mustard really works as chooks will actually eat chillis.
Try darkening the nest boxes as much as possible and add golf balls or smooth rocks with plenty of nesting material so the eggs don't break.


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 Post subject: Re: Cannibal Chook
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Thank you sue55. My husband is going to work on an adjustment to the chook house design this week-end to try to make a roll-away arrangement. Thankfully the others don't seem to have caught on and she hasn't figured out that she could sneak back and eat theirs. Trying to keep them well fed.


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 Post subject: Re: Cannibal Chook
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:04 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
Hopefully she is not entrenched in the behaviour. Roll away boxes should help once they are used to them.

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