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Help! Eggs being stolen...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So the past couple days we have not received any eggs. We know our chickens are laying as we see the in the nests often. Our neighbors found a broken chicken egg on their porch the other day. There was also a broken egg in our yard. We see magpies in our yard all the time and suspect them as the egg thieves. Any ideas on how to stop them from doing this? We want our eggs! Thanks :)

post #2 of 9

Does your neighbor have a dog? my dogs love to steal eggs from hidden nest here, they do not take the ones from the nest boxes because i have taught them to leave them alone.

“You can’t really begin to appreciate life until it has knocked you down a few times. You can’t really begin to appreciate love until your heart has been broken. And you can’t really begin to appreciate happiness until you’ve known sadness. Once you’ve walked through the valley, the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking"

 

 

                                                   ...

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“You can’t really begin to appreciate life until it has knocked you down a few times. You can’t really begin to appreciate love until your heart has been broken. And you can’t really begin to appreciate happiness until you’ve known sadness. Once you’ve walked through the valley, the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking"

 

 

                                                   ...

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post #3 of 9

1.   Lock up your chickens in a magpie proof pen until the late afternoon when most of your hens will have already laid their eggs for the day then gather your eggs before releasing your hens.

 

Or you could:

 

2.   Get more hens and buy additional chicken feed so that you will not miss the eggs that the magpies steal.  Some people go by the theory that you don't miss that which you never possessed.  If that is true then why even bother gathering your eggs?  Remember that the magpies were here first and that their wants and needs must come first.. :rolleyes:

 

That's called sarcasm AntieEm! 

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #4 of 9
That’s the first time I’ve heard of magpies taking eggs, but that sounds right. Some things eat eggs whole, some eat them on the spot, and a very few things, like raccoon, will carry them away a little but not scatter them like that. I could easily see a magpie or crow doing what you describe.

You can always set up a game camera to confirm what is getting them, but stopping magpies may not be real easy. I don’t know if it is one individual that has found your coop, a mated pair, or the entire flock. You want the one or ones that are eating your eggs.

Other than setting up some magpie-proof fencing, maybe using bird netting, to lock your chickens in and magpies out, I have only one suggestion. Trap them. I don’t know what your options are to dispose of them once you get them or what your local laws are, but that’s your business.

They are smart birds and your chickens won’t make this easy because you might wind up trapping them, but find a small live trap, say one sized for squirrels, and set that in your coop. Your feed store might have one. I don’t know what their favorite foods are for bait, probably the same thing your chickens would eat. Just try to figure out where to set that trap so you are more likely to catch the magpies that are eating your eggs than the chickens.

Good luck with it. This sounds like a challenge, partly because they are such smart birds and partly because your chickens will probably work against you.

This too shall pass.  It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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This too shall pass.  It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone! So yes, it is indeed the magpies. Two days ago I watched one GO IN THE COOP! Like no one was watching!! Haha, it was too funny. So yesterday we installed a *hopefully* better roof and set a schedule for our chickens to be out once all the eggs are laid. We'll be watching ;)

post #6 of 9

Glad you figured it out.

 

I've read of crows and such stealing eggs...was even a video somewhere.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgkaiMKld24

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #7 of 9

Today was the first time I've  had an egg missing, one egg of three missing from the nest.  It was early afternoon, I was outside most of the day gardening and had not gathered eggs yet,  I live in a small city, Baton Rouge, LA  with lots of traffic on the  front street..  After coming in for lunch and a break I went out front to resume yard work &  found on the ground in front of the yard swing a half of a  brown egg shell with some egg white remaining.  I was sitting on this swing earlier  with no sign of egg shell.   The chicks are in the fenced mostly bricked  back yard with chain link & tall wood fencing  and I was in the not fenced  front yard. Our yard is very small.  I could find no clues.  The chicks , 6 buff orpingtons  appx. a yr old and not small, were very reluctant to get in their house for lockup this evening letting me know they witnessed what visited and stole the egg.  I've  occasionally seen a medium sized possum in the evening and there are cats and some folks have seen a coyote awhile back..  Whatever it was was bold!    Things here have been uneventful til now.  Any hints or clues to protect  the chooks and find out what the intruder was is most welcomed!  Help!  Thanks for listening.

post #8 of 9

Possums and Raccoons will steal and carry off eggs, as will Ravens and crows and Bluejays (crows and Bluejays will carry if small enough or eat in place if not). additionally several snake species will eat eggs and if harassed will carry them a ways

Diane

 

D's Birds & Bees

Working Class Canine Wildlife Recovery

Frontier Rottweilers

Dogs by Diane Portraits

 

Barnevelders, Crested Cream Legbars, Delawares

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Diane

 

D's Birds & Bees

Working Class Canine Wildlife Recovery

Frontier Rottweilers

Dogs by Diane Portraits

 

Barnevelders, Crested Cream Legbars, Delawares

Reply
post #9 of 9

I had a barn cat that would steal eggs and carry them off to her kittens. She'd drop it on the floor so it would break and they cleaned it up. The only reason I know this is, I saw it happen. 

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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