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Can You Help Identify?- Steals Eggs, Ignores Chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by UrbanFarmerGirl, May 18, 2011.

  1. UrbanFarmerGirl

    UrbanFarmerGirl Chirping

    May 18, 2010
    Western Washington
    When I check the eggs mid-morning or early afternoon (such as on weekends, when I am home at that time) I generally get 3 eggs- one for each hen currently laying. I know who lays what, because the buff lays a pink egg then the barred rocks lay tan eggs.

    When I go to work early, I often have an early egg from the buff. She's my early morning layer. It's pretty predictable. If I am not able to check for eggs until I put them away in the evening, I generally don't find any. A couple of times I have had 0 or 1 egg for the whole day, and the one egg looks pushed off to one side like it has been moved. No evidence of shells or broken eggs around nests.

    My chickens aren't stuck in the coop- they have free access to the open coop and run, as well as the whole yard and garden. Nothing has harmed them. I have looked in all usual places- no weird hidden nests or anything. And why would they lay in the boxes on the weekends but not during the week?

    Today, I locked the girls in all day. I had 3 eggs in the evening.

    Yard surrounded by a 5 foot tall solid brick fence. Neighbors on one side, public park on the other. On the edge of town, in agricultural area. Warm temps these days, and dry about 6 days a week. What type of animal would steal eggs but not hurt chickens? They would have to be moving the eggs out of a coop which is 4 ft off the ground and accessed by a ramp. I have two dogs, and it is not them. They are in the house all day.

    I know there are rodents in the compost pile.

    Please help.

  2. Shannon33

    Shannon33 Songster

    Feb 23, 2010
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Maybe a snake?
  3. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Snakes, rats. I had a raccoon that was stealing eggs but leaving the chickens alone. (thank goodness)
  4. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008
    or a opposum?
  5. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    I've had a problem with ravens and squirrels stealing eggs from my coops.
  6. UrbanFarmerGirl

    UrbanFarmerGirl Chirping

    May 18, 2010
    Western Washington
    What about blue jays? Has anyone heard of them doing that? There is one little guy who hangs out and eats the spilled feed.... but would there be evidence of broken eggs?
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    snakes or crows seem the most obvious

  8. Posh Chickens

    Posh Chickens Songster

    Feb 24, 2011
    West Midlands, UK
    Crows are terrible!
  9. UrbanFarmerGirl

    UrbanFarmerGirl Chirping

    May 18, 2010
    Western Washington
    Can snakes climb up a ramp with a 45 degree incline? I have no tall grass in the yard, and I feel like the hiding spots for something moving on the ground only are a little limited.
  10. AlabamaChickenLady

    AlabamaChickenLady Songster

    Jan 4, 2011
    Oak Grove, Alabama
    I'd say a snake. It would swallow the egg whole and not leave any broken shells or evidence behind.

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