Do squirrels steal eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rainbowgardens, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I found a pullet egg on the floor of the coop yesterday, but because I had other things to carry back to the house, I picked it up and put it into a nest box. When I came back out later it was gone.

    I'm hoping I don't have an egg eater. We have squirrels all over the yard. Could one have taken the egg? I know at one point in the day I heard one of my hens doing the alarm clucking. Perhaps she saw the squirrel in the coop?

    It was dark when I came back for the egg, so I couldn't examine the nest box to look for egg remains. Do you usually see egg goo in the nest after a chicken eats it?

    One of my hens hangs out in a nest box for hours, but I don't always find an egg there when she gets off. I just assumed she was feeling broody and wanted to sit there. Perhaps she is eating them.

    I also wanted to mention that I found one of their golf balls from a nest on the floor of the coop last week. I use plastic dishpans for their nests. Could a hen kick a golf ball out of a dishpan, or could it have been a squirrel hoping it was an egg?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  2. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I can tell you that squirrels will eventually learn to go up a ramp and into a coop. We did not have problems with disappearing eggs and I assume that the squirrel was snacking on chicken feed. So, I don't have an answer for you...just "circumstantial evidence"!

    Good luck.
  3. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    I wouldn't put alot of hope on it being the squirrels [​IMG]

    Good luck on the mystery tho
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Chipmunks, squirrels, rats and mice all will eat eggs. I hope you don't have an egg eating chicken. They (chickens) will eat the entire egg- shell and all. The only sign is maybe some yolk colored discoloration on your shavings. Chipmunks and mice will frequently just eat the insides and leave the shells. And squirrels and rats tend to carry eggs away for eating. Good luck.
  5. SandyK

    SandyK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2009
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    My girls stand up to the squirrels. Of course they are on the inside of the fence, but they ran to the fence to challenge them.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Crows will as well.

  7. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    Well, I checked out the shavings in the nest box and I could see no signs of a broken egg or any residue. The nest box it was in is the closest one to the people door, which I keep open all day. The path outside the door is used by the squirrels coming around the barn to go into the garden in order to bury their walnuts in my vegetable beds.[​IMG]
    I stuck an egg out there filled with mustard and blue food dye. If it goes missing, I'm checking my girls.

    I hope I don't go out there and find 22 hens smeared with blue mustard!
    Katie’s Coop likes this.
  8. miche

    miche Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Squirrels around here are so picky they now shun the feed, and wait for the scratch so they can pick the sunflower seeds out! They don't go in the run any more when it's open, and have never gone in the coop.

    I do have an occasional egg eater. Our buff orpington, Buffy. She sometimes pecks a neat hole in the top, leaving the membrane in tact. Other times she pecks the whole thing open and eats some of the insides, leaving lots of broken shell and runny egg evidence. Somehow, this seems related to the water supply; I've noticed this happening if the water froze, had run low or got too dirty. (It's more elevated now to avoid getting dirty, bigger so it doesn't run out early in the morning, and has a heater to avoid freezing.) I work from home and can collect them after hearing their proud laying squawks! That way there isn't time to peck them.
  9. sewingca

    sewingca Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    Of course, I'm new at this and all my girls are babies yet. So when I saw a squirrel in the fenced wooded area, I assumed it was also in the chicken feed. Will this end when all 10 chickens are grown and can defend their territory? Two of my girls should be laying; could that same squirrel be carrying off eggs? What does one do about fat and happy tree varmints?[​IMG]
  10. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    Egg-eaters will often remove all evidence of there ever having been an egg. They will eat the shell and any goop that escapes.

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