U.E.E... Unidentified Egg Eater!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Back40, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    O.k... New mystery for me here... Over the last few months when collecting eggs, I've noticed an occasional egg crushed in one of the nesting boxes. I just figured the hens were crushing eggs that may have been a little soft-shelled. So, I clean out the nest box every time, put out some more oyster shell, and wait. Yesterday though, in one nest, I found three eggs that had been intruded upon... One crushed as usual, one with a 3/4" hole broken into the end with contents intact, but the third with a 3/4" hole broken into the end, and all contents neatly removed; almost no residue outside the egg or in the nesting box. I'm thinking maybe a local rat? We don't have European rats here, but an abundance of Cotton Rats. What else might break a small hole into the end of an egg and eat the contents so completely and neatly? And, how might I prevent future attacks? I collect eggs at the end of the day rather than in the morning, so I know a predator, (if this is being done by a predator), is visiting during daylight hours. Any help out there among the other Florida chicken keepers?
     
  2. mickistoy

    mickistoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    northern ohio
    just a thought......is the hole beak size? [​IMG]
     
  3. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Yes, the holes are beak-size... I thought about that, but the fact that there's no residue left in the nest boxes is what made me think there's something lapping up the insides after penetrating the shell. The holes are always in the ends of the eggs, never on the sides. I've found three more since my post; it seems to be getting much more frequent now. The shells are strong, and not soft or fragile. The damaged eggs are always in one box only (of six boxes). All this makes me think there's something returning with more and more frequency because it's a free meal.
     
  4. Telamon

    Telamon Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    I have no idea.
    Quote:you know what that means, your chickens are eating their own eggs
     

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