My eggs are MIA

Der Oberst

Hatching
Nov 14, 2015
9
0
7
Back story we started out with 9 hens and 1 rooster but due to stray dogs are down to 6 hens and 1 rooster. We went from 5 or 6 eggs a day to 3 or 4 and now 1 to 2 tops and more like 1 egg every other day. We do live in the midwest so it is winter time here and colder so I expected less eggs but now my fake eggs are missing from my coop too. We originally had them there to keep the girls laying in the nesters. We have 3 dogs, a goat and a cat but the goat and dogs do not bother our hens. It could be the cat but we have never seen anything left like shells etc. Going to not let the girls leave the coop tomorrow being they are free range and going to look for shells and fake eggs. Girls are 1 year old so should have eggs; any advice is appreciated.
 

PlanterJeff

In the Brooder
May 6, 2015
45
4
26
I could only assume you have a larger animal stealing your eggs. Is your coop secure, and do you close it down at night? I would set up a camera to find out.
 

MikeTheGardener

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 3, 2014
158
14
73
New Jersey
I am in the same boat. I have 6 hens and we were getting 3 to 4 eggs per day, now we get 1 a day. The hens are only 1 year old so it can't be their age. I checked the pen and coop and everything is secure. Doesn't look like we are getting any egg robbers. Not sure what is happening.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,557
79,563
1,462
Wisconsin
Laying in winter isn't as regular as laying during other months, production goes up and down based on weather, light, feed or any stress due to confinement, and they will also divert energy to staying warm as opposed to daily laying.

So expect it to go up and down and even stop during really cold spells, most become more regular or resume by February and March.
 

Free Spirit

The Chiarian
Oct 21, 2015
637
105
108
NWA
Being that you are missing fake eggs I suspect a predator. Egg stealers could be opossum, skunk, raccoon, or snake as possible thieves. If your coop is not secure or there is an opening for a predator to get in this is possible. You may have to keep watch and see if you can spot one or put up a game camera.

Your production of eggs are diminishing. Several reasons are possible:

*Predator stealing the eggs and frightening or stressing the birds. If it's that then you will want to make sure and check your security as the predator may kill your birds.

*Daylight hours are shorter and can slow or cease egg production until the daylight gets longer again.

*Molting. Birds will generally not lay during molt.

Hope this helps and Welcome to BYC
welcome-byc.gif
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,557
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
Are you seeing feathers lying around? Your birds could be molting. They generally do not lay eggs while molting because all of their energy goes into replacing feathers. (which are mostly protein) You can increase their protein in their feed to help them through the molt quicker.

Other than molting, the days are getting very short. Daylight hours will affect laying. At this time of year, production is not high. Once the solstice arrives and the daylight hours start increasing, laying will begin to pick up and peak during summer with the longest daylight hours.

I have around 50 birds, and I'm getting 2 eggs a day right now.
 

Jesusfreak101

Songster
Sep 2, 2015
2,129
364
196
Texas
My Coop
My Coop
I dont know about up there up when we have a snake eating eggs(happened to mother in law and a friend) the hens stop laying until said snake is taken care of. Once the snake cant get to the nesting area (or dead) they start laying agian with in a week.
 

PlanterJeff

In the Brooder
May 6, 2015
45
4
26
Everyone is pointing out that chicken's production decreases in the winter, which is true, but that is not the case here. Right when you mentioned your plastic eggs were also stolen, there can be only one answer, a predator. I personally think it may be a big snake because the fact that you have no traces of the eggs left. I bet you there is a big snake laying around trying to digest two plastic eggs right now. Let us know what your camera finds, but there is a chance the snake wont emerge for a while due to the current digestion issues! Good luck!
 
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