Something is eating our eggs!?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SarahF, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. SarahF

    SarahF Songster

    Dh has been seeing the chickens twice a day since the temperature dropped to -10 degrees. He collects eggs and changes the water, as both will freeze at this temperature.

    The last few days he's noticed that eggs are being "eaten". We find yolk dried on the other eggs and I'm guessing a decline in the # of eggs we get. He hasn't given me more details than that.

    What could be doing this? We put rat poison out a couple weeks ago and we see mice all the time. The chickens always have lots of food, so I couldn't see why they'd be doing this. There is no way anything bigger than a rat could get into our coop, so that rules out raccoons.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be great.

  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    It sounds like at least one of your hens has developed a taste for the eggs.
  3. jforsness

    jforsness Songster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I agree, you've got an egg eater [​IMG]
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Chickens catch and eat mice - - poisoned mice are easier for chickens to catch and eat.


    edited to say: mouse traps are simple and safe if the chickens can't reach them
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Yes, PLEASE remove the rat/mice poison. Even if you just do it in an are where your chickens cannot get to it, when the rats or mice die, wild animals will find it, they will eat them & become poisoned. Not good....

    And - yep, you've got an egg eating chicken. BAD habit for them to develop, and often it's hard to break. Try putting some fake (wood) eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes; the idea is that they'll peck at them and once they figure out they can't break them, they'll stop. Collect eggs OFTEN - that is key! Also, you might consider giving a bit of dry cat food for extra protein. GOOD LUCK!
  6. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Well there are times that I will find a cracked egg or one with a puncture (toe hole) in it. If my hens find an egg like that they will scarf it up in no time.... I've seen them do it. All it takes is for one to freeze and break open or start to leak because they have shuffled it around... why they all feel the need to gather in the same nest box is beyond me.

    So perhaps it is innocent enough on the egg eating.

    As for poisoning the mice. I wouldn't because I have seen my hens eat critters they catch..snakes etc..

    I would check the hens as they roost in the evening for dried egg yolk on the face/beak area. Clean it up and check the next night. If the same hen has egg on her face she is eating them an its too coincidental to be accidental.

    Julie [​IMG]
  7. SarahF

    SarahF Songster

    I never thought about mice eats poison - chicken eats mouse [​IMG]

    I'll tell DH to take it away, his grandmother actually put it out, we'll have to go on a scavenger hunt to find it all. What do I do to keep the rats away, as I've heard they can take a chicken out. How well would they hold up against a giant rooster? I have two of them [​IMG]

    I will start collecting more often and try putting wooden eggs into the nests. I'm honestly a little scared of my roosters, as they try and get me EVERY time I go in. Wish I had one of those steel Night in Shining Armor outfits![​IMG]

    Thank you!!!
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Setting off a mouse trap would probably do little harm to a grown chicken but a spring-type rat trap would probably kill them. I have a mouse trap behind a cage door in the chicken coop (caught 3 mice there in the Fall [​IMG]). The chickens can't get to it. Also, there's a trap in the garage beside the feed (caught 5 mice in there [​IMG]). I do not have rats here, thankfully.

    A large rooster would probably stand up real well against a rat but, of course, the problem is - mice & rats show up in the dark. Make sure the eggs are collected before dark. Maybe this varmint IS your problem.

    I bet your question about rats gets asked often on the "Predators and Pests" forum.


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