Blue Jay Eating Eggs!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lindsay Jane, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Lindsay Jane

    Lindsay Jane In the Brooder

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    There is a scrub jay pecking holes in our chicken eggs in the coop. Our chickens spend their days generally in the run, scratching around... and almost daily the scrub jay flies into the coop and pecks holes in the eggs, eating the yolks.

    We have two chickens (black barred rocks and Rhode Island red), and they lay eggs at various times throughout the day. For awhile I thought that one of the chickens was the culprit. We supplemented their food with calcium, protein, put ceramic eggs in the coop, but still found pecked eggs. Then I saw the scrub jay fly up into the coop- I ran in and opened the back to chase it out, to find pecked eggs. I have seen it several times since through the window, flying in and then out with yolk on its beak. I don’t know how to keep it away!!

    Obviously we want our eggs. But it’s also concerning because one of our girls tends to get broody and will go sit on broken eggs (getting her bottom very messy) before I have a chance to remove them. We pull the eggs out as often as we can, but it’s like the scrub jay has a sense of when we are not there and when there are eggs. I also don’t want to just lock the chickens out of the coop...

    Any advice on deterring pesky scrub jays or experience with egg-eating birds is GREATLY appreciated!!
     
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    You're going to hear this a lot, but let me be the first to suggest it; kill the bird.

    There's a possibility that it'll teach your birds to eat eggs, and there's no way to keep it out of the coop without making an entirely fenced and covered run.
     
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  3. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Pig Whisperer

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    X2 on that.
     
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  4. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Bird murder is the only answer..burder. :caf
     
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  5. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Pig Whisperer

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    Watch it; some of these birds have been to prison and aren’t afraid to go back.

    FB843BBE-F5ED-4809-B7CA-A19E6C870AB9.jpeg
     
  6. Rachel Taylor

    Rachel Taylor Crowing

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    :lau that pick made my day. I HATE blue jays. They are known to steal other birds and other jays nests and eggs. They used to try attack my cat. One day she said enough is enough and climbed 15’ up a tree and stole 2 babies :hmm They’re gone for awhile
    But you can kill it but if you unable then can you cover with netting to stop them from getting in? Wild birds can spread disease to chickens. I hate killing innocent wildlife but it’s threatening my chickens safety and health I’ve gotta do things I hate doing
     
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  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Don't I know it! The only other choice is arm the chickens. :D 23d1942216b39b8c4278ee2b0651e259.jpg
     
  8. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Pig Whisperer

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    Don’t worry, we got it covered.

    C5B69946-7AD4-4C4A-B08C-FF028E6F76A5.jpeg
     
  9. Rachel Taylor

    Rachel Taylor Crowing

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    That could get interesting :pop
     
  10. ColtHandorf

    ColtHandorf Songster

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    Do not kill the scrub jay. The bird along with all other native songbirds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918:

    https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/MBirdTreatyAct.aspx

    "The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is the primary legislation protecting native birds in the United States and one of this country's earliest environmental laws. It prohibits the "taking" any native birds; "taking" can mean killing a wild bird or possessing parts of a wild bird, including feathers, nests, or eggs. Exceptions are allowed for hunting game birds and for research purposes, both of which require licenses or permits. It is also illegal to try to incubate wild bird eggs, to keep nests or eggs even for "show and tell" educational purposes, or to have road-killed birds in your possession without a permit. (Note: Injured native birds should be brought immediately to a licensed, trained wildlife rehabilitator who handles such species.)

    It is illegal to remove or move nests that contain eggs or nestlings, even if:
    • they are in an inconvenient location
    • the young create piles of poop underneath the nest (like Barn Swallows)
    • they build an unsightly nest and drop pigeon and rat remains on the sidewalk in front of an upscale apartment building in Baltimore.
    It is illegal to transport, trap or kill native non-game adult birds like Blue Jays or Mockingbirds without a permit, even if they are harassing birds at nest boxes or feeders."

    How about you describe your coop? You say you have two chickens but find eggs (plural) broken and have a hen that often goes broody. How often are you actually collecting eggs? With multiple broken eggs it doesn't sound like it is daily. Why not change the nest boxes to the roll away kind? The egg is placed in area where the Jay can't even reach it.
     
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