Something killed an egg that was due to hatch tomorrow or Monday! Help please

GarnerZoo

Chirping
May 22, 2015
321
16
71
My Welsh Harlequin has been sitting on eggs and they're due sometime between tomorrow and Tuesday, I went out to check on the female today and our male came quaking across the yard really fast and loud. I thought this was odd as he never goes over there, he's usually on the other side near her or our chickens (they're in a coop and he sits at the door). When I walked around the corner from where he came from I saw a squirrel on the fence, I thought he was just chasing it off but then our dog ran towards it and stopped by where the egg was. The shell was ripped apart like it had zipped and I thought maybe it had hatched early and somehow made it across the yard (wishful thinking I know) until I saw that it was also like the egg..My question is, was it the squirrel or sometime else? I know the other day that some crows tried to get an egg, they didn't break it so I put it back under her and she sat on it for a day until it showed up again but this time broken and also dead. A blue jay was by it this time and our male was trying to chase it off.
I don't know what to do as they are due in a day or so and I don't want anymore being killed. The Blue Jay got some of the eggs when she first started to lay them and the crows know she is there as well as the squirrel. How do I know what got it and how to stop them from getting more. It's so close to hatch date, she used to have 21 eggs and now is down to 14.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
7 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,535
2,872
371
Hudson, Colorado
Crows, jays and magpies are all egg thieves. They are relentless. I would either move her which could make her abandon the eggs or take a wire dog crate and place it over her where she is.
 

GarnerZoo

Chirping
May 22, 2015
321
16
71
I don't want to move her, because like you said it could make her abandon them, and they're so close I don't want to take that chance. I don't have anything I could put over her, her nest is halfway under a rose bush in our flower bed. (We tried to suggest other spots for her but she liked that one.) I figured it was either the Jay again or a crow as they have tried before. I think the squirrel might have been just a coincidence. Is there anything I could put out that would make them leave her alone, we stopped feeding bird seed when she started laying because we didn't want the birds around to kill the eggs, was this a mistake? Should I put out seed again or not?
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
7 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,535
2,872
371
Hudson, Colorado
I hate my magpies and would never dream of feeding them on purpose but if putting out 6 chicken eggs kept them away from the duck, that's a no brainer. Do you have some scraps of wire around?
 

GarnerZoo

Chirping
May 22, 2015
321
16
71
I've put up a fence barrier around it and some over top of her nest. It isn't 100% because of where she made her nest and the bushes and there's the opening she uses when she does get up. I do have some scrap wire. I've never actually seen a magpie where I live, doesn't mean they aren't here though. Would putting chicken eggs out keep away the crows and jays?
 

GarnerZoo

Chirping
May 22, 2015
321
16
71
The culprit was a blue jay. It came back twice while I was outside and tried to get in her nest. I put some food out for it so it had an easier meal and when it came back it went straight for the food. It's been leaving her alone and just eating the food now. I hope it will continue to leave her alone now.
 

luckysaysgo

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 1, 2014
177
19
78
Be careful once they hatch we have had jays stealing and killing our chicks even though they are with their mama hens. They are horrible vicious birds. They are not scared of anything except the bb gun.
 

luckysaysgo

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 1, 2014
177
19
78
You could save yourself some future grief and just take aim now while it's distracted by the easy meal. Otherwise once the wee ones are out and about they will be at constant risk.
 

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