No eggs and odd behavior

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ptken2, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. ptken2

    ptken2 New Egg

    Feb 2, 2017
    My birds have been acting unusually the past few days. Normally they have been laying around 4 eggs a day the past few weeks. But for the last 4 days there hasn't been a single egg in the coop.

    Last night when we went to lock them up, almost all the girls and boys were atop the pen and refused to go inside. We had to make quite an effort to get them to go back into their pen and their coop. We've never seen the flock do this before, certainly not the night after a snowstorm. In the warmer months, a few would make a half-hearted effort to spend the night out now and then. But last night the whole flock seemed uneasy about going inside.

    They seem fine today, but I still don't see any eggs. I also haven't seen any rodent tracks in the snow. I'm puzzled.

    If something was eating the eggs, I expect I'd see debris, but so far I haven't seen any.

    Any ideas what's going on?
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, ptken2, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined us! It almost sounds like you have a egg thief on your hands. Can't explain the lack of tracks but something has spooked them from going in. Could there be a daytime visitor to the coop that might be interested in eggs? Skunks and opossums - usually nighttime visitors are known to steal eggs but not bother adult birds. Also, sometimes a chicken will turn into an egg eater and that can be a real problem to break - but it happening suddenly like that and coupled with the change in behavior makes me think something else is up. But speaking of snow - mine hate snow and production will sometimes dip after a storm. So, I guess I'm no help whatsoever. [​IMG] Hopefully someone will chime in with more concise advice. Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC!
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    I agree with redsoxs, it's either an egg thief or they're stressed enough to stop laying. I think it might be helpful to go over every square inch of your coop looking for any tiny little hole something could get into. And check the bedding too for signs of an intruder. I know snakes will eat eggs and are something I used to have to guard against in FL...they can squeeze into just about any size opening. Maybe it's too cold where you are for snakes to be active this time of year?

    Hope another greeter will come along with other suggestions. Best of luck to you.
  4. Silver 4 Health

    Silver 4 Health New Egg

    Feb 2, 2017
    Mobile, AL
    I would suggest to watch the egg box during the day to see if they are sitting. Most egg thieves leave shells and a bit of a mess. But, an egg eating snake will not...since they consume them whole.
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under ptken2 [​IMG] Welcome!

    You do have a mystery on your hands and I agree with the others in that you may just have an egg thief. I do hope you are able to get to the bottom of it and please let us know.

    I also hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Sounds like there is something in the coop that is really spooking them, otherwise some of them would probably go in.
  7. ptken2

    ptken2 New Egg

    Feb 2, 2017
    Thanks to all! These are good, thoughtful ideas. The kids went in just fine yesterday...but still no eggs. I'm going to leave them inside today, and set up a havahart trap with an egg for bait. If the egg is gone without a trace and the trap's been triggered, I'm thinking snake.

    Our girls have a pretty devoted following, and I hate to keep telling everybody they haven't been filling the egg cartons.
  8. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hey there, and welcome to Backyard Chickens!!! I am so glad you decided to join our big, happy family! Please make yourself at home and enjoy yourself here! :frow

  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

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