Squirrels !!

Raptorchick

Serama-mama
May 21, 2018
387
1,172
246
Pine Grove, CA
Hey all :)
So I've been having a problem with eggs disappearing for about a year now, starting last fall. First my chickens were molting, some lost a LOT of feathers, I thought they had stopped laying. I changed feed, increased nutrients/vitamins and protein, to help. Some of my girls reached laying age this past summer, but still no eggs. Then I noticed rats. I put out poisons, traps, big and small, ultrasonic deterrent and sprayed the coop with peppermint oil frequently. No luck. Maybe 5 rats have actually died via poison or trap over the past 3 months, that I've seen/buried. All of my chickens feathers have grown back in, which is fantastic, they appear to be in great health. So, I assumed rats. Today, I get home from work early (around noon, and my girls usually lay between 8am-12pm), and I see a freaking squirrel hauling an egg into his nest. What the what !!!
Now I feel like an idiot.... all that money wasted on rats. How do you stop squirrels ??
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium Feather Member
Jan 12, 2019
11,807
55,105
1,067
Georgia
No way!! I'm surrounded by squirrels here and they're terrible about stealing the chicken crumble but I have yet to see them go for an egg! lol! :lau:lau:lau
I'm not sure how abundant your squirrel population is but if it's anything like mine, there isn't really a way to reduce their numbers for very long. I think a roll away nest box might be the best way for you to protect your precious eggs! Good luck! I look forward to seeing what you do to prevent the little buggers.
 

Raptorchick

Serama-mama
May 21, 2018
387
1,172
246
Pine Grove, CA
Lol it might be time to make a roll-away nest box... I've thought about it but I'm not a builder or engineer, maybe the fiance can figure it out :rolleyes:
Are they smart enough to navigate electric fencing? Hmmm...
I don't have the guts to shoot them :oops: haven't had fresh eggs in forever but still can't shoot the little thieves, that'll be my last resort.
I'm also considering trapping them and letting them go far away somewhere. Our dogs hunt them all the time, I'm surprised they've been getting away with this for so long. Then again, I haven't seen any dead ones in a long time, not very good hunters apparently lol.
If I find something that works I'll post it, thanks for the help! :)
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium Feather Member
Jan 12, 2019
11,807
55,105
1,067
Georgia
Lol it might be time to make a roll-away nest box... I've thought about it but I'm not a builder or engineer, maybe the fiance can figure it out :rolleyes:
Are they smart enough to navigate electric fencing? Hmmm...
I don't have the guts to shoot them :oops: haven't had fresh eggs in forever but still can't shoot the little thieves, that'll be my last resort.
I'm also considering trapping them and letting them go far away somewhere. Our dogs hunt them all the time, I'm surprised they've been getting away with this for so long. Then again, I haven't seen any dead ones in a long time, not very good hunters apparently lol.
If I find something that works I'll post it, thanks for the help! :)

I've never used them but there are premade ones. They're a bit pricey but if it were the difference between getting eggs or not I would probably buy one! As far as the electric fencing, I swear the squirrels we have around here are ninjas so I don't think it would work but if they're not dropping down from a tree overhanging the chicken coop, maybe?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EOZEY8A/?tag=backy-20
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
28,418
25,402
881
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have plenty of squirrels. Most or the predators roam here at night when it's cooler out and the squirrels sleep in their nests. Every once in awhile when we start getting over run with them, I do shoot a few. The Grays like to chew on hoses and wire. Every once in awhile something has chewed on a hose. They chewed the windshield washer tubing on hubby's truck which was a hassle to change, and the cable TV wire at the post on the street and the wire on the pole next to the driveway coming into the house. It was surprising we got any signal at all. We were having problems and called the cable company several times before they discovered the wire had been chewed nearly through the wire. The cable people who changed the wire said it's not uncommon where the gray squirrels are. There is something in the wire they are attracted to.
 

21hens-incharge

Moderator
BYC Staff
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
26,210
108,774
1,672
Northern Colorado
I have seen them steal eggs here too.

Thieving little tree rats!

Hardware cloth over everything stops them but is a pain.

Big ole mean hens here get one every now and then. :sick

Hubby thought I was nuts claiming squirrels were stealing eggs. Then he got to see me run out back and throw sticks at one until it dropped the egg.
Entertainment at it's finest. :rolleyes: A crazy 50 year old short woman throwing sticks at a squirrel in the tree telling it to "DROP IT, DROP IT, DROP IT YOU STUPID TREE RAT!!"
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,505
5,652
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Squirrels make a mighty fine meal. Mighty fine indeed. Tastes like dark meat chicken. Recommend you soak the meat in the fridge overnight in a bowl of milk to reduce the gamey taste (unless you like your meat to taste gamey). You can feed the milk that you use for this purpose to your pets or livestock, so you'll be getting double-duty from it.
 

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