Magpies are eating all my eggs- help!


8 Years
Jun 16, 2011
So I moved to the country a year ago. I expected predators, but not like this. I have a free range flock, that free ranges on about an acre by my house. The magpies have memorized all our habits and the chickens behavior- like they are always stalking the chickens in the trees. No matter where they lay, there is a magpie, feet away. It knows an egg is coming. Some chickens and ducks bury them, the magpies are smelling them out. I go out four times a day at least and scare them off. They are not scared of anything! I have ten hens that I know are laying, because every once in a while I do get an egg. But it's getting worse. On top of that they are locked up at night in a railroad car- which is rather old and warped and has several layers. I have patched up all the big holes. But the eggs keep dissappearing at night. I know something else is getting them at night. But the magpies are my main problem. I have set live traps a billion times, in their trail lines, with many different baits, covered up the trap to make it dark, and so forth. Nothing.
I finally got some other traps. Tonight is the second night, but the magpies still managed to get the bait out without setting it off. Shooting them takes time and I just have a cheap pellet gun that of course you have to reload every time, tipping off the magpies and making them smarter. I am going to order a larsen trap when I have the money.
It's so frustrating, because where I lived before nothing bothered chickens so much and I had a little business. I don't know what else to do. Anyone have advice? The magpies surround my house, watching everything, I already have two dogs- they can't keep up. There is no food left out or anything.

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