Frustrated with lack of eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SluceableMocha, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    I am so frustrated with my hens right now! I have 2 RIR, 2 Barred Rock, and 2 Americaunas. The Americaunas are almost 3 years old and the other 4 are about 7 months. The older ladies finished a molt recently and at least one has begun laying again. The new ladies have all begun laying, they were laying almost daily for a while but now I'm only getting maybe 2 eggs a day from all 6 chickens! I'm positive that at least 1 of the Americaunas are eating eggs. I separated them from the rest of the flock and tried making mustard eggs to deter them - they ate the freaking mustard eggs. Ate them whole! And I'm still only getting 1 egg a day from the other 4, so I think one or more of them are eating eggs too! I've ordered some Pinless Peepers to see if that helps, but if it doesn't I'm seriously considering just selling them all. I'm so sick of trying to figure out how to get them to lay, and how to figure out how to stop them eating eggs, and I cant afford to keep feeding them if they're not giving eggs in return.

    Also, squirrels keep getting into my coop and eating the chicken food and I can't afford to be feeding squirrels too! We live in the city so I can't just trap or kill the squirrel either. We don't have the money to go crazy trying to squirrel-proof the coop so we've been trying to MacGyver it and it obviously hasn't worked yet. I have 3 kids, 2 of whom are under 2, and I can't be running outside every 15 minutes to chase away squirrels and check for eggs before they get eaten. What do I do?? I really enjoy the chickens and I don't want to get rid of them, but we can't justify keeping them if they're only pets. We've already got 3 freeloading cats, lol. We can't have 6 freeloading chickens too!
     
  2. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,034
    1,374
    216
    May 23, 2017
    Berea, South Carolina
    Squirrels eat eggs. :)
     
    AUChickenGal and 21hens-incharge like this.
  3. Storybook Farm

    Storybook Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    197
    71
    111
    Jun 5, 2015
    Sugar Grove, WV
    My Coop
    Sorry... not understanding why you can't trap/kill the squirrel?
     
    aart likes this.
  4. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    It wouldn't make a difference, there are literally hundreds of squirrels in my neighborhood. I definitely could trap or kill it, but another one would just move in and take its place.
     
  5. Storybook Farm

    Storybook Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    197
    71
    111
    Jun 5, 2015
    Sugar Grove, WV
    My Coop
    Ah. Same with us for rats; we're in the country. Do they get in during the day, or just at night? (We are taking in all food dishes at nights... it's not working yet, but we just started...)

    Poison might work... for all comers... if you can find a safe place for it. I noticed (as we've been battling rats) that poison these days comes in plastic traps (you rebate them periodically) that only rats and mice (and I would think squirrels, too) can get into... not dogs, kids, or chickens.
     
  6. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    Just during the day, squirrels are diurnal so they're not a problem at night. I thought about putting out squirrel bait with poison, but I don't want to also poison someone's cat or dog if they ate the squirrel. And that still wouldn't really fix the problem. My husband suggested a squirrel feeder with something cheap in it, like peanuts, so they would leave the coop alone. But if they're also eating eggs (which I'm not sure of, I've never actually caught them IN the coop, just the run portion), they'd probably prefer the eggs to the peanuts anyways.
     
  7. Storybook Farm

    Storybook Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    197
    71
    111
    Jun 5, 2015
    Sugar Grove, WV
    My Coop
    So, I was reading this post on these forums from 2010 (vis a vis my fight with rats) and maybe it would work for you, since they are non-toxic:

    ONE: make some plaster of paris/peanutbutter/oatmeal/olive oil balls. Equal part PP/PB/OM with just enough oil to make cookie dough consistancy (no water as this will activated and harden the PP). Then roll into a ball then in whatever they are eating like sunflower seed, layer crumble, bird seed......works wonders and no secondary poisoning. Last fall we wad a huge population explosion of field mice. Every night I would mix up a batch and drop little balls all over and they devoured it. Within a week we had the mouse population in our area under control. (Do NOT let chickens get at these balls.)

    TWO: another intersting trap my neighbor made was a 5 gallon bucket, drill 2 holes through the side near the top and put a round dowel through the hole. Take a small plastic water bottle cut a hole in the bottom and thread the dowel through the bottle. Smear peanut butter on middle of bottle. Fill the bucket 1/4 full with water. mouse walks out on dowel, reaches out for the peanutbutter, bottle spins and mouse falls in bucket and drowns, trap is reset automatically for the next mouse. I kid you not my neighbor wat catching 15-20 mice each night in his bucket. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jezQKOl5q-w&NR=1

    I'm going to try both: bucket for mice and balls for rats. I have places I can leave them where chickens can't get to them!
     
    Magical Garden Girl likes this.
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,034
    1,374
    216
    May 23, 2017
    Berea, South Carolina
    If they're in your run they've been in the coop. They stuff an egg in those cheeks and are gone with it. Wouldn't think they could do that but they can.
     
    AUChickenGal and 21hens-incharge like this.
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

    4,536
    1,570
    311
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    My hubby did not believe me about the squirrel eating my precious eggs. Until he saw one in the tree with something white. I threw sticks at it until it dropped what it had. Yup it was an egg.
    We added wire with smaller openings to the fencing after a hen caught the bugger..... And ate it. :sick
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    Chickassan likes this.
  10. SluceableMocha

    SluceableMocha Just Hatched

    21
    7
    17
    Mar 21, 2017
    I wish my hens would eat the squirrel! I'd consider getting a rooster but again, I live in the city lol.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by