Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SueT, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    It had been a stressful week for our hens. Sheila the Aussie had gone broody and subsequently been incarcerated in the broody jail, then to top that off, a pen holding two new youngsters had intruded upon their happy coop, making everyone feel much more crowded and irritable. Lady Buffington, the 2nd in command, took matters into her own wings, and set up a nest in the corner of the carport behind a piece of plywood. She began laying her little beige eggs there. I found her out rather quickly and made the decision, given the turmoil in the coop, to let the nest be, even putting some hay in there plus one of the fake wooden eggs that my hubby had lovingly turned on his lathe. When Stella joined her in this outlaw nest, I added, right next to it, what I thought was a more suitable nest box made from a crate, with more hay, and in this one I put a ceramic egg. They ignored that for a few days, and then suddenly switched preferences. Still, I checked both outlaw nests every day. Little by little, the girls began returning to the coop to lay, but I’d check the carport just to make sure. One day last week I forgot to check, and the next morning, found broken egg shell outside the crate nest, the ceramic egg under the truck, and then, oh no! the wooden egg was missing!!!! A predator had found the nests, eaten a forgotten egg and stolen the wooden egg! I felt bad about losing the handmade egg, and looked everywhere to no avail. I changed the hay in the nests, washed the ceramic egg, and hoped for the best. Every day, I still check both outlaw nests, and since last week have found 2 of Lady Buffington’s little beige eggs in the crate. Today I went out there, and lo! behind the plywood, there was the wooden egg, all dirty and full of teeth marks!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! The critter brought it back! I can only guess the thief is a raccoon, and being disappointed that there have been no more free eggs to steal, put this one back, hoping to entice a hen to lay there once again.[​IMG]
    Junochick and Wickedchicken6 like this.
  2. BoomChickaPop

    BoomChickaPop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    Relaxing with my Buns
    What a Funny story!
    I love the part where the predator puts the fake egg back lol

    Junochick likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Great story!

    But Yikes! Sounds like maybe you need to do some predator proofing.
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    I enjoyed reading this. Animal behavior is fascinating indeed! [​IMG]

    I do agree with aart. Maybe a nice trap would be good. But you have been warned by the predator themselves that they are looking for a meal. Heed that warning so you don't have to kick yourself later on. [​IMG]

    Thanks for sharing,
    Good luck!

    Love the name Lady Buffington. [​IMG] My Buff Orpington is a lap chicken and when she see my BR's coming she hurries up to get to safety in my lap. It's sweet.
  5. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    The nest that was raided is not near the coop and run, but in a carport about 300 feet away. (The hens have been free range about a year, and get locked inside their coop at night ) But you are both right, I will heed your advice and set the trap tonight. Yesterday I was so astonished and grateful at the reappearance of my wooden egg, that I delayed doing so, even considered leaving a thank you gift..... for whom I am not sure.
  6. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    That's funny. Several weeks ago I had a ceramic egg returned. I have no idea where it went or how it came back. I have seen my resident crows checking nest boxes from time to time. And I assume they take an egg now and then. But return one? Isn't that kind of a stretch, even for a smart crow?
    Another one of life's little mysteries, I guess. :/
  7. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Weehopper----I am glad to hear that someone else has experienced the same phenomenon!
  8. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    There is another possibility as to who may have returned the fake eggs in these cases---the chickens themselves! A hen may have discovered the stolen egg out in the pasture and carried it back....Here's a forum about hens' abilities to carry eggs from one place to another....
  9. redguinea

    redguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2015
    Land down under
    I have had that happen too! I had a fake egg in a nest and one day it went missing when I found it dumped on the ground it was chewed up and dirty! I believe that a crow took the egg and dropped it once it realised it was fake and then a fox grapped it and was also disappointed.
  10. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2012
    Near Cumberland, MD
    Just wanted to add to the story concerning birds moving their eggs.

    I had two ducks that both went broody within a couple of days from each other. Since I really did not want any new ducklings (after a total of 58 ducklings the spring before), I broke up the nests but left each duck two eggs. One duck was in a shed, the other had taken up residence under a thorn bush.

    A few days later, I noticed the duck under the thorn bush was just out walking around, which in and of itself, isn't unusual - even for a broody duck. But later that evening, I realized she was STILL walking around. So I got down on hands and knees, crawled under the bush and lo and behold, her eggs were missing.

    I had it in mind that something had gotten the eggs and that something was probably a neighbor's cat. So, I went down to check on the other duck and oh my gosh - her eggs were missing too!

    So now, I am thinking maybe.....a snake? or two?? :he

    Well, imagine my surprise a few weeks later and while I was down feeding the other birds, but there comes the duck from the shed with Four ducklings!

    Hmmmmm. Apparently, Harlequin must have been upset that I took most of her eggs, so she went and stole the thorn bush eggs!

    How did I know this? Well, there is quite a bit of difference between a black and white Muscovy duck (Harlequin) and a black Cayuga duck (Dollie)!

    Harlequin had her two Muscovy chicks and two black Cayuga chicks!

    What is even more interesting is that Harlequin's original nest in the shed was empty and I have no idea where she was at. Dollie's nest was at least 200 feet away. That meant Harlequin had to have carried those two eggs (two trips?) a good distance to take them wherever she had her new nest.
    SueT, drumstick diva and Junochick like this.

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