Feeding Eggs

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Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

This isn't the normal time for supplemental feeding, but I want my martins to know what chicken eggs are and to eat them from the bed and breakfast. Last spring was an absolute nightmare. I lost 2/3 of my colony, and this year have only 20 babies, as opposed to the 80 fledged last year. I have been putting chopped hard boiled eggs with their shells in the bed and breakfast, and some of the birds are eating them. I would assume this is safe since they do eat eggs in the springtime if they are accustomed to them. Could anyone tell me if there is a downside to this idea? Sue P
Posts: 3144
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

You never know with mother nature, but typically martins that have not been supplemental fed in the past would not take eggs from a tray this time of year when they are not really hungry due to days of rain etc. If you are seeing martins pecking around in the food tray they might be getting the egg shells for calcium and maybe other birds are getting the eggs. Many people cannot get martins to eat eggs from a tray when they are starving so for them to be eating eggs when the weather is good seems unlikely. My experience has been that the martins need to be pretty hungry when you train them to take supplemental feed.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi Sue,
I have never boiled eggs and chopped them up for my martins. I have only scrambled my eggs without using oil. I scramble the eggs and chop them up in the pan using a pastry cutter. Then, I clean the inside of the eggs shells under a little running water and microwave them for 1 minute and then cruch them up for the martins on the feeding tray.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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