No Eggs...egg thief???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by aquagal, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. aquagal

    aquagal New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jul 19, 2012
    I am not sure if this is the correct spot to put this in or not. I have 9 hens, all under a year and all recently started laying...2 golden comets, 6 RIR's and one EE. I have been getting an egg a day from the golden comets (they are about 1 mo older than the other chicks) and all of the others were just starting to lay - so I was getting anywhere from 2 - 6 per day for about 2 weeks. All of a sudden, 4 days ago...no eggs, not a one and no egg mess. No broken shells, no yolks, nothing.

    I had a rat problem last fall and then left the coop open by accident one night last fall and lost my entire flock. I got rid of the rats while I was (sadly) without chickens. I haven't seen any sign of them (no tunnels, no feces, etc) so I really don't think it is a rat.

    I work during the day so won't be able to check until this weekend to see if they are laying and the eggs are getting stolen or if they have just all stopped laying. I did go out this morning and put an egg into the nesting box (first time that's happened!) so I can see if it's still there when I get home. If the egg is still there...I will post again under a different area. If the egg is gone, I will know it's a predator...but I don't know what kind. A snake maybe??

    Any insight is greatly appreciated!!

    As a side note, my son and I looked everywhere the chickens can go in case they moved their egg laying spot of choice...nothing...
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,747
    6,877
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do they free range?

    If so, keep them locked in the coop until at least mid afternoon over both the weekend days, that might let you now if they are in fact not laying or just have a hidden nest. Locking them up for a few day should 'rehome' them to lay in the nests in the coop.
     
  3. aquagal

    aquagal New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jul 19, 2012
    I only let them free range when I am RIGHT there. They haven't been out at all...this is quite the mystery! I have a huge fenced in area for them and give them tons of goodies...veggies, fresh cut grass and the occassional bug (plus their normal food).
     
  4. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe a hidden nest in coop behind something or in a corner.

    Or

    Maybe Snake.
     
  5. aquagal

    aquagal New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jul 19, 2012
    I am worried that it's a snake - the coop is a converted shed with tons and tons of great hiding places for snakes. Has anyone had some snake experience...can they eat upto 5 eggs per day? The second I get home I am going straight to the coop to look for the egg I put in this morning. I have no clue how to keep the snake from the eggs, especially since I would rather not kill the snake if I don't have to. I like the idea that they will also be munching on any rats or mice that stop by!
     
  6. deathfromabove

    deathfromabove Out Of The Brooder

    93
    4
    31
    Jul 8, 2014
    maryland
    If you think it's a snake the best trap is a minow trap just put an egg into it and set it in a corner. If there is one you'll have it the next morning.
     
  7. deathfromabove

    deathfromabove Out Of The Brooder

    93
    4
    31
    Jul 8, 2014
    maryland
    If you do have a snake put a minow trap in the coup with an egg in it and you'll catch it.
     
  8. dirtychick

    dirtychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    3
    61
    Jun 17, 2013
    bud the dang snake won't be eatting the old mice and rats when they can get anuff eggs or baby chicks-When I get the chance I don't let them lose , their is no shortage of them.//// chickens can stop laying from changes like light , feed ,stress ,and other facters .also other things including chickens eat eggs as you proably know- but a snake is a pain and what I've seen usely eat 2-4 eggs at a time every day-three days usely if there is one there is at least two.If there laying my guess is snakes all thoughusely they seem two leave some part of the times. good luck.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by