Help! whatever is eating my chicken eggs took 5 wooden ones!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by syngergy, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. syngergy

    syngergy New Egg

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    May 20, 2013
    Boise/Meridian, Idaho
    I've been losing eggs, and I thought I might have an egg eater, so I put some (5) wooden eggs in the nesting boxes yesterday evening, but they were all gone tonight. Has anyone else had this happen?

    Some other pertinent info:
    My hens (22 of them) are on pasture with a rooster. They free range during the day and I generally lock them in their "coopter"(coop/tractor) at night. I always leave the nesting boxes empty at night, so It's happening during the day. No chickens have been eaten or disappeared or hurt. I haven't noticed any odors, and usually whole eggs are missing (occasionally there's yoke in a nest); the wooden eggs disappeared, but golf balls were ignored. No I didn't check for the wooden ones this morning :(
     
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe a snake ate them?
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Snake x2, Crows? Your dogs?
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I vote squirrel. My MIL has an outdoor Christmas tree, and the squirrels love to take the balls and garland off to decorate their own digs.
     
  5. syngergy

    syngergy New Egg

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    May 20, 2013
    Boise/Meridian, Idaho
    Thanks for the replys!

    Snake is a good candidate, but they don't need to eat five eggs every day, right? We don't have cows or dogs, nor have I seen any dog prints or sign. I've read squirrels and birds usually leave shells behind, but whole eggs are missing, usually without a trace. We're thinking rats or weasel/mink.

    We moved them about 50-75 feet this morning and changed the orientation of the nesting boxes, instead of the usual just moving to the next spot. We also let the goats out to "graze" that pasture; maybe the new smells/seeing the goats will help throw whatever it is off the trai. If we need to we'll hold a stakeout later in the week.
     
  6. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Actually snakes sometimes eat more than one egg at a time.
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Will be interesting to see if you figure out what is taking that many wooden eggs. Weasel/mink I think would be killing the chickens, not bothering with the eggs. Rats I can't see carrying them off unless they are really small wooden eggs. Big birds like crows/ravens will take the whole egg. You may also have multiple snakes (nice thought).
     
  8. jehaz

    jehaz Out Of The Brooder

    I wonder if a light with an ifra-red motion sensor would help to scare off any nocturnal critters, you can get solar powered ones incase you dont have power by your coop.

    Also, you could try putting a door on the chickens' entrance to the coop that you can lock at night.

    Or you could put your nesting boxes up high in the coop (on a shelf) with a lip that will prevent anything that cannot fly/jump high.

    That should stop those dirty rats from playing soccer with your eggs.
     
  9. hiwasseenursery

    hiwasseenursery Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2011
    Tennessee
    My guess would be snake. I had one eat a ceramic egg that was dirty and had an x marked on it. A few days later I found it in the shed where no large animal could go. The egg was clean. I always thought it would kill them. But I guess it just coughed it up. It was still kinda wet. It did stop eating eggs but then got 6 chicks. I never caught or saw the snake.
     
  10. jehaz

    jehaz Out Of The Brooder

    How about you drill a hole in an egg and fill it with rat poison, then leave it outside the chicken pen so it can only be touched by snakes/critters.
    That will show it!
     

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