Could it be a Possum? Coon? Rat? Or...?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by klcabe, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. klcabe

    klcabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Canton, NC
    I posted a few weeks ago about my chickens, that I got as day-old chicks back in April-ish, not laying yet. Either they still aren't, or they are and SOMEthing is getting the eggs before I can.

    Last year, my chickens were free range and laying like CRAZY, but I had to finally pen them up after losing all but one to dogs. The one I have remaining from last year was laying before I moved her and the newbies into the large pen (I had her in a small coop with an attached run, and was getting at least 4 eggs a week from her at that time). She laid a few eggs once in the larger pen, but I haven't gotten an egg in at least two or three months.

    I don't yet have a permanent coop built in the pen - just a 'lean to' type of shelter where they can get in out of the weather, and that is where the nest box is, as well. They roost in or on top of it, or in the walnut tree at night. There is hay in the nest box and a couple of golf balls.

    I check for eggs twice a day, both in the nest box, and around the entire pen. Nothing. I remove all food in the evenings so as not to attract/encourage night-time critters.

    The only thing I can think of is that maybe a possum or coon or rat or something is getting into the pen and stealing the eggs, but none of the chickens are bothered - even the little bantams that are now residing in the smaller coop and run that is inside the larger pen.

    At this point I'm just frustrated and unsure of what to do. I have two roosters; should I get something else to put in with them that would kill whatever it is?
     
  2. BlackRock13

    BlackRock13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Could it be stress or cold?
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Grifton NC
    I suspect they just haven't started laying.
    Not all birds start at 6 months

    The older bird is probably due for a molt
    One other possibility is you have an egg eating hen, but normally you'll see some moisture in the nest box if that's the case
     
  4. klcabe

    klcabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Canton, NC
    The older hen is molting at the moment, so yes, that's probably why she isn't laying. I've not found shell fragments or ANYthing. It's just odd to me.

    I don't think it's stress. They seem pretty happy to me. It just started getting cold this week.
     
  5. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Michigan
    Chickens will slow egg production if the daylight time shortens. If you make sure they have enough light every day(around 14 hours) then they should keep their normal egg laying cycle going. A lot of chickens vary at what time they start laying. The pullets I got in February started laying as early as 2 months ago and I had one start laying just this week. It just varies from bird to bird.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  6. littleoak

    littleoak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Ashmore IL 61912
    You don't mention anything about health. Have you tried worming them?
     
  7. klcabe

    klcabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Canton, NC
    They apparently just enjoyed making me wait. They started laying on Saturday lol
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Chickens are sadistic devils who lure you in by looking cute an fluffy, then make you cater to their every wish

    I think they learn from cats
     
    1 person likes this.

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