Egg Eaters - Can they do it without a trace?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Montana-Hens, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    Suddenly this last week I have been getting no eggs except from my one renegade hen who refuses to laying in the nest box. The nest boxes are completely bare.(they are filled with the usual shavings)

    I have 6 hens, 4 who are laying and suddenly no eggs. The two non-layers are 26 and 23 weeks.

    Is is possible I have an egg eater? Can they do it without leaving a trace? I've checked my nest boxes for a bit of egg.

    I have read old threads on this: They have plenty of free access food. They free range part of the day. They have oyster shell. Three boxes for 6 hens. I check for eggs three or 4 times a day.

    Fall is arriving early here, and we have had sub-freezing nights more than once already. I don't consider that a big deal as they winter in our coop without additional heat or light in the past; they slow down but never just stop. Is it possible that the sudden arrival of this weather has caused them to divert energy to heat rather than eggs and once they adjust life will be just fine?

    Any thoughts on what is going on here and how to address it would be helpful .
  2. bigspringshatchery

    bigspringshatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Roanoke Alabama
    I had one that left no trace. The only way I knew is caught her in the act or the bottom of the nesting boxes would be wet. But you may not have one. I'm not sure if it's the cold that makes slow down. I think it's the time of light they receive in a day
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Yes, a hen can eat an egg without leaving a trace, but it is unlikely that she would eat all the eggs every day without your catching her, as often as you check for eggs. I live in Texas, so i probably shouldn't comment on whether they could be adjusting to the cold, but it certainly sounds plausible to me. [​IMG]
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    What bigspringshatchery said. You would probably at least see a wet spot. Could they just be starting to molt?

  5. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    They aren't starting to molt. Last year they did it in January when it was about 30 below for a week. ( worried about the no heat thing big time then). The sit very nicely with their feathers fluffed up.

    The days are getting shorter, and I know that slows the ladies down, but they have always gone well into November before any of them have shut down in the past.

    No wet spots found and I have been checking with my bare hand and today went an a scavenger hunt for eggs, but none of them go missing like they are keeping a secret clutch to hatch or acting broody.
  6. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    I would be LOOKING for a snake - - - I just found one in my boxes with 2 eggs in her belly [​IMG]
  7. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    Snakes.....oh Yuck! We are lucky all around here at lower elevations they have snakes including rattlers, but our altitude makes it in hospitable (too cold even in the summer!

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