egg/chick killer/thief?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RRRfarmTN, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. RRRfarmTN

    RRRfarmTN New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2011
    We're stumped! We successfully had a hen set her own eggs last year inside a pen. Nothing bothered them.
    This year, something that could climb a wall and go through a 1 1/2 in. space got inside and killed our 10 baby chicks. Then we had another hen setting on 14 eggs and we decided to move her inside to prevent another catatrosphe. She didn't have 14 eggs anymore, only 7 were left (we did, during her 21 day setting, find 2 hollowed out shells). Of those 7, none hatched...which we will assume were not fertilized. We now have another hen setting, and she started with 13 eggs, down to 12 yesterday & only has 10 now.
    All the other occurences seemed to be at night. But, with this hen setting now...she is locked up tight at night. So the thief is stealing them in the day time. If they are being eaten or stolen at night, then the predator must fit thru a half inch space and eat everything without leaving a trace.
    What is it? We've spent hours online researching predators and can't figure out what it might be. Meanwhile, we put one of our dogs inside her pen...which is a pen large enough for the dog and her nesting house...which gets locked up at night.
    FYI: Our dogs are the protectors of chickens, they wouldn't harm the mama hen or steal her eggs...so that's our only answer for the time being. They are the reason coyotes stay away from our house.
     
  2. no1hilbily

    no1hilbily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rats or weasel ?
     
  3. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what you explained, i would suggest a snake. i would suggest purchasing a wire minnow trap and setting a couple eggs inside. The snake will crawl in and it will be hard to crawl out. It will also catch mice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  4. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:X2
     
  5. RRRfarmTN

    RRRfarmTN New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2011
    We had a wire minnow basket and it's outside now.
     
  6. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    skunks will eat only chicks and eggs and not the hens. did it smell at all?????
     
  7. Debbiesflocks

    Debbiesflocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like the work of a skunk. I dont think snakes are egg suckers they would swallow the egg whole. a skunk will kill the chickens once all the eggs and chicks are gone. I would get some traps asap.
     
  8. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

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    Skunks put a hole in the egg... snakes take the whole thing. You might have both taking eggs. Raccoons and Oppossums take eggs too... but they will also kill the hen to get the eggs.

    Preditors are bad this year. That 1/2 by 1/2inch wire is best... nothing can reach or crawl through it... but it is pricier. (if that is a word)
     

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