Disappearing Eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lorus6, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Lorus6

    Lorus6 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2013
    East Texas
    We have a broody chicken that started with 12 eggs. While checking on her, we discovered an egg or two missing every few days. Finally, with 4 days to hatch, she still had 6 eggs. That night, we caught a possum in the coop! The possum was taken care of and we thought we were good to hatch. On day 20, Brownie got off her nest for a short break, and there were ZERO eggs!!! There was not a sliver of shell or any yolk to be found. We inspected the coop and reinforced some potential trouble spots and let Brownie try a new clutch.

    This time we gave her 6 eggs. Again, we had a missing egg twice over the first 10 days. Yesterday, she pushed 1 away and was sitting on 3 eggs. The one she pushed away had what appeared to be yolk dried on the outside. When we picked it up, it had a strong odor - like it was rotten. We disposed of it and this afternoon checked her to find not one egg anywhere!

    Could she possibly be an egg eater? Do egg eating chickens eat shell and all? What else could be taking these? Her little broody spot is not completely shut off from the other hens, so occasionally we find one of her flock mates sitting on the eggs while she takes a break. But we cannot figure out why as many as 5 eggs are disappearing in one day or night with absolutely no evidence left behind.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016

  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy Lorus6

    Wow, that is bizarre to have so many eggs go missing.

    I have never experienced an egg eater but you would think that if a chicken was breaking and eating the eggs, there would be some bits of shell left or other evidence in the nest.

    I am in Aus, so not sure of what predators you have, but my first thought with missing eggs and unharmed chickens was snake or lizard/goanna?

    Edited to add: Or a rodent?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Have you checked the broody's nesting material very closely for egg remains, you probably won't find shell, but they usually leave a wet spot.
    If there's remains from a broken egg in there, it's gonna rot and stink...needs to be cleaned up.
    You could still have a predator..... another possum or maybe a snake?
  4. dustcover

    dustcover In the Brooder

    May 8, 2016
    Since you've already caught one possum in the coop, it's my bet that another member of the possum's family has found it's way into the coop.

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