We have an egg problem.
Production has dropped to just one or two eggs a day. At first, we thought it was just that the chickens are molting. Then we realized we had an egg-eater.
We occasionally found a broken egg in the nest box, but we put it down to accident. These things happen. Eventually, it became clear that there were too many to be happenstance. And sometimes, there was nothing but a damp yellowish spot in the straw; the whole egg was gone.
It probably started because the chickens weren’t getting enough calcium (we should have given them more oyster shell) and their eggshells were thin. The first couple were accidents, but then at least one of the chickens discovered that she liked eggs and, miracle of miracles, that there was a constant supply.
Egg-eating is a very hard problem to cure. You’re supposed to minimize the opportunity by collecting the eggs as frequently as possible but, no matter how vigilant you are, the chicken’s always going to be first to know when there’s a new egg.
The only sure-fire solution is the stewpot but, if that’s the route you’re going to go, you first have to identify the egg eater. This is no easy task. Kevin did some research on how to figure out which of your chickens is eating eggs, and here was the best suggestion he found: look for the one with egg on her beak.
Many years ago I saw a movie, or maybe a television show, in which a young girl was raped. She had to spend some time in the hospital, and the scene that sticks in my mind is the one in which her father, or maybe her brother, is driving her home. They’re driving through town and the girl gasps and points at a man walking down the street. “That’s him!” she says. “Are you sure?” asks the father, or the brother. She’s sure.
The father or the brother pulls over, chases the man into a parking garage, or maybe a vacant lot, and kills him. He gets back in the car and they’re on their way. A half-mile down the street, the girl gasps and points again. “That’s him!” she says.
Kevin caught Queenie, fair and square, with egg on her beak. “That’s her!”
Now what do we do?