Help! Eggs being stolen...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AuntieEm, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. AuntieEm

    AuntieEm New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 29, 2013
    So the past couple days we have not received any eggs. We know our chickens are laying as we see the in the nests often. Our neighbors found a broken chicken egg on their porch the other day. There was also a broken egg in our yard. We see magpies in our yard all the time and suspect them as the egg thieves. Any ideas on how to stop them from doing this? We want our eggs! Thanks :)
     
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    11,008
    604
    378
    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Does your neighbor have a dog? my dogs love to steal eggs from hidden nest here, they do not take the ones from the nest boxes because i have taught them to leave them alone.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,387
    915
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    1. Lock up your chickens in a magpie proof pen until the late afternoon when most of your hens will have already laid their eggs for the day then gather your eggs before releasing your hens.

    Or you could:

    2. Get more hens and buy additional chicken feed so that you will not miss the eggs that the magpies steal. Some people go by the theory that you don't miss that which you never possessed. If that is true then why even bother gathering your eggs? Remember that the magpies were here first and that their wants and needs must come first.. [​IMG]

    That's called sarcasm AntieEm!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,113
    3,318
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    That’s the first time I’ve heard of magpies taking eggs, but that sounds right. Some things eat eggs whole, some eat them on the spot, and a very few things, like raccoon, will carry them away a little but not scatter them like that. I could easily see a magpie or crow doing what you describe.

    You can always set up a game camera to confirm what is getting them, but stopping magpies may not be real easy. I don’t know if it is one individual that has found your coop, a mated pair, or the entire flock. You want the one or ones that are eating your eggs.

    Other than setting up some magpie-proof fencing, maybe using bird netting, to lock your chickens in and magpies out, I have only one suggestion. Trap them. I don’t know what your options are to dispose of them once you get them or what your local laws are, but that’s your business.

    They are smart birds and your chickens won’t make this easy because you might wind up trapping them, but find a small live trap, say one sized for squirrels, and set that in your coop. Your feed store might have one. I don’t know what their favorite foods are for bait, probably the same thing your chickens would eat. Just try to figure out where to set that trap so you are more likely to catch the magpies that are eating your eggs than the chickens.

    Good luck with it. This sounds like a challenge, partly because they are such smart birds and partly because your chickens will probably work against you.
     
  5. AuntieEm

    AuntieEm New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 29, 2013
    Hey everyone! So yes, it is indeed the magpies. Two days ago I watched one GO IN THE COOP! Like no one was watching!! Haha, it was too funny. So yesterday we installed a *hopefully* better roof and set a schedule for our chickens to be out once all the eggs are laid. We'll be watching ;)
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,706
    6,827
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Glad you figured it out.

    I've read of crows and such stealing eggs...was even a video somewhere.

     
  7. MaggieBischof

    MaggieBischof New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Oct 4, 2015
    Baton Rouge,LA USA
    Today was the first time I've had an egg missing, one egg of three missing from the nest. It was early afternoon, I was outside most of the day gardening and had not gathered eggs yet, I live in a small city, Baton Rouge, LA with lots of traffic on the front street.. After coming in for lunch and a break I went out front to resume yard work & found on the ground in front of the yard swing a half of a brown egg shell with some egg white remaining. I was sitting on this swing earlier with no sign of egg shell. The chicks are in the fenced mostly bricked back yard with chain link & tall wood fencing and I was in the not fenced front yard. Our yard is very small. I could find no clues. The chicks , 6 buff orpingtons appx. a yr old and not small, were very reluctant to get in their house for lockup this evening letting me know they witnessed what visited and stole the egg. I've occasionally seen a medium sized possum in the evening and there are cats and some folks have seen a coyote awhile back.. Whatever it was was bold! Things here have been uneventful til now. Any hints or clues to protect the chooks and find out what the intruder was is most welcomed! Help! Thanks for listening.
     
  8. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    737
    128
    136
    Mar 20, 2016
    Georges Mills, NH
    Possums and Raccoons will steal and carry off eggs, as will Ravens and crows and Bluejays (crows and Bluejays will carry if small enough or eat in place if not). additionally several snake species will eat eggs and if harassed will carry them a ways
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,635
    3,235
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I had a barn cat that would steal eggs and carry them off to her kittens. She'd drop it on the floor so it would break and they cleaned it up. The only reason I know this is, I saw it happen.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by