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Day time egg predator...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a mystery that I can't figure out. Predator that eats eggs and leaves the hen alone, comes in broad daylight, never at dawn, dusk, or after dark. Can fit through a 3 inch gap in a garage door left cracked open for airflow for a broody hen, when my small cat cannot. Has to be big enough to leave drool all over one wing of my buff orpington broody, as she is not small.

The first egg we lost was on Monday. She had just gone broody Sunday night and we moved her into the garage. Monday morning, sun was shining, beautiful weather so while we were home we opened the garage door. 10 minutes later I go out... there is a cracked egg laying on the garage floor, hen is out in the yard running around. When we moved her she pooped on me, so I assumed the egg must have gotten stuck to her and fell off when she went for the yard. She was desperately trying to get back in the backyard... where my great pyrenees is. We rounded her up and put her back on the nest. Everything has been fine. In fact... on Thursday I forgot to even close the garage door when we left for work so she was a sitting duck all day and nothing happened. Yesterday afternoon, our garage door was cracked about 3 inches if that. Our smallest cat was pacing outside the garage door waiting for us to open it for him. He couldn't squeeze under. We open the garage, I see three eggs out of the nest. Two eggs cracked and left on the concrete. One egg missing the small end and completely licked clean on the inside. The 4th egg gone from her nest, gone without a trace.

I set live traps last night and left the garage door open and watched her all night. Nothing. Whatever it is only comes during the daytime. I'm thinking the hen must have made a fuss and our indoor dog must have ran to the door barking and scared off whatever it was eating her eggs yesterday.

So my leads are... must have bones made of rubber and no teeth as my hen isn't injured at all. I am at a loss here.
Edited by ameliadanielle - 4/16/16 at 4:42am
post #2 of 8

Snake, maybe?

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've never seen a snake take eggs from the nest like that. I've seen them just get right under the hen and eat all the eggs. Sometimes I've seen them kill a hen if she puts up a fight with one, just to eat eggs or babies.

I've never seen a snake open an egg and lick the insides clean. It's just weird. Today the garage door stayed closed and there are two live traps, a big one and a small one, baited with eggs right outside of the garage door.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I did find out there was a mink farm here a while back. When they closed down someone told me they just released all the minks into the wild and that's within a couple of miles of my house. Apparently the minks settled around the river right next to my house. I've never actually seen one and I know for a while all the chicken farmers were killing them left and right. I didn't think any could be left but now I wonder. Wouldn't it have killed my hen too? She jumped up on the chest freezer in the garage yesterday... I know because she pooped on it.

So now I'm hoping whatever it is got itself caught in that trap today.
post #5 of 8

I would think the mink would have killed your hen, too. I don't know when all the tame mink were released, but I would think that they would have either died off or been killed by now. Will be interested to know if you caught anything in your trap. And what your plans are once you catch something. (Please don't say you're going to "relocate" or "rehome" it to become someone else's problem...)

 

ETA - Just read your edited post. When I've had eggs cracked open and licked clean, it's been cats. Not saying that's what got yours, just that that's been my experience. 


Edited by bobbi-j - 4/16/16 at 2:27pm

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Apparently they wrecked havoc on farmers around here for years. For a while there was a big effort to hunt them all down. Because the guy running the mink farm also farmed chickens and he fed the minks chicken byproducts of slaughter. So they were a real pain for a while. I've never seen one with my own eyes around here though.

I've never seen a cat eat an egg. I didn't even think about my cats, but my only cat that was outside yesterday was outside the garage and he couldn't squeeze under the crack in the garage door yesterday. That same cat was also outside with the live traps set today and he didn't get caught in one. I caught nothing. Eggs in the trap not disturbed.

I'm leaving them there for a week. I was hoping I had caught something. I haven't searched the back yard yet though, great pyrenees was on guard today.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
No. Whatever we catch... we have a .22 bullet with its name on it. I'm perfectly OK with leaving nature to be nature... out in nature. When it comes in my garage, it has left nature and decided to be a part or my world now. I mean, we live in a subdivision. It's not like I live in the middle of a bunch of nature. Lol.
post #8 of 8

I do live in the middle of a bunch of nature. Our opinion is, if something decides to leave the abundant nature in which it lives to come onto our building site and eat our birds, it does not need to return to nature. It will be used to feed the vultures that roost in our grove at night. It's been a few years since we've had "visitors" from nature come harass our birds. The last one I remember was a couple of years ago when a mama coon and her 4 babies decided - in the middle of the day - to go into my coop and kill my best broody. Fortunately her 5-week old babies had already been integrated into the flock, so they were OK there. Needless today, mama coon and her babies quickly ceased to be a threat to my flock. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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