Missing eggs from under a broody hen

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bethdos, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. bethdos

    bethdos New Egg

    8
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    Dec 21, 2010
    rochester New York
    Last night we gave a broody hen eight Bantam Dutch eggs to sit on for a friend. She happily sat on them....this morning we checked on her and three of the eight eggs are gone! (she had replaced them with three regular sized eggs laid by other hens.) The hen house gets locked down at sundown...there is no way in after that. There is no trace of cracked eggs inside the hen house. No sign of a struggle...(no feathers all over...hen doesnt look harmed)
    My husband thought he saw some kind of small animal run off when he was walking past the coop last evening before sundown.....so the big question: how do three eggs disappear out from under a hen? Would a preditor steal eggs but not harm the chickens? We have not had any preditor problems before this (except for hawks once). We do live in the country, backing up to woods...we do know that there are fox and racoons around us...but they have never bothered the chickens, so far....
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. nthehunt

    nthehunt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2012
    Virginia
    I've had black snakes steal eggs from under sleeping hens, that's the only animal that could take three and leave no trace of them behind(yolk,egg,ect.)
     
  3. nthehunt

    nthehunt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2012
    Virginia
    sorry I meant egg shell lol
     
  4. bethdos

    bethdos New Egg

    8
    1
    9
    Dec 21, 2010
    rochester New York
    yah, Ive read about that possibility.....but we are in upstate NY and its been very cold this past week, down to freezing....would the snakes be active?
    and if it were a snake how in the world do you keep snakes out of the chicken house? yuck!
     
  5. nthehunt

    nthehunt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2012
    Virginia
    ah, didn't think about where you were. That would prob be too cold for snakes to move much unless you have heat in your coop/hen house. I'm stumped. As for keeping snakes out you would have to seal every crack from top to bottom with wood and replace chicken wire with hardware cloth wire.
     
  6. Amy S

    Amy S Chillin' With My Peeps

    How about a rat? They've been known to steal eggs without a trace.
     
  7. nthehunt

    nthehunt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2012
    Virginia
    YEP! Totally forgot about rats
     
  8. laura877

    laura877 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Attica, Mi
    I had the same thing happen to a hen way,way high up in a loft. She had been sitting for a long time before I found her. I checked under her to to eat them and all the see how many and then I put some more eggs under her as she only had 3. Days later I checked again and 3 were gone. I wondered if she knew they weren't viable and was hungry enough to eat them and then ate all the shells so as not to draw attention to any predators.

    We don't have snake, coon or possum problems right now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012

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