Eggs missing, no shells, probably snake, but brooding hen dead too?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kenabelle, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Kenabelle

    Kenabelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2009
    Hi, reading through predator identification post, and pretty sure I have a snake, but wanted to make sure. Had a snake problem a few months ago, but he just ate babies and left the mama hen alone. Just this week I let another broody hen sit on 6 eggs, and have had no problems until last night. This morning, I wake up to 4 missing eggs with no trace of shells, which makes me think it was that dang snake again, but the sitting hen is dead! No marks, no spit covered head. If it was a coon or a skunk, wouldn't it have eaten at least part of her? I'm thinking maybe she died of shock? Or maybe it was poisonous and bit her while she defended eggs? Either way, such a waste, and I'm just trying to prepare coop for round two (well round ? After dogs and snakes [​IMG] ) but need to know what I'm defending from. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. chickensrfood

    chickensrfood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2010
    A large rat snake could easily constrict a hen and kill her and then consume the eggs. I have had this headache when I kept mandarin ducks. Had a few hens dead in the box while the snake is below her body consuming the eggs.
     
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    WOW that is not cool.

    I usually say it is a rat when the eggs disappear as they roll them away for later use. But the snake idea sounds too true. Not sure where you are located so I don't know what snakes you have in your area.
     
  4. Kenabelle

    Kenabelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2009
    Thanks for replies, I'm pretty sure it is a rat snake. I live in north Texas, by the way.
     

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