Weasel, Mink, or something else? Eating eggs, I'm scared for my birds!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickenWisperer, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    Well, here in no-where kentucky, I think we have either a weasel or mink problem. Maybe something else.


    For a long while now, I've noticed that I'm not getting enough eggs. I have 7 birds that lay FAITHFULLY, 2 that im not sure are laying, and one that hasnt begun. When I go to the coop, I completely expect 5-6 eggs per day, throwing in the occasional flunker. However, I've only been getting 3 a day, if I'm lucky - and if I dont gather for 2 days, I might have 5 or 6. Also, I have found eggs that have been strown out across the coop - and my girlies NEVER lay in the floor.

    When I do go to get eggs, I can see a thin layer of yolk on the eggs sometimes. However, there are NEVER any shells left. I've had cracked, WHOLE eggs - but never any empty shells, untill today. I went out, and there was a EE egg - and the top was broken off, and the yolk sucked out. There wasnt a mess in the laying box with the other two eggs (which were unharmed). When I picked it up, leftover yolk dripped out - but there was barely anything left. Thank god my girlies, man, and the new boy were freeranging.

    Here are some pictures of the cracked egg -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dad was down at the coop at 3:30 - the eggs were fine. At about 5:30 I went down and checked, and the egg had been eaten, but the shell left.

    Also, I've been noticed that my "birds" have been eating HUGE amounts of layer feed - even though the freerange for good parts of the day. I chalked it up to finches, squirrels, and other little furries......but would minks/weasels do that?

    There is a "den" - a hole dug into the ground, fairly large opening - begind the chicken coop in the woods - and a peice away, not on our land, there is a pond. We all agreed this seemed like it might be the work of a mink/weasel.

    All of our birds are fine - I've never lost a bird in this coop - but I am very, very worried my babies may not be safe.

    What do you guys think?
    I've found no
     
  2. momonpillowhill

    momonpillowhill Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2009
    We have been having a problem with skunks stealing our eggs here. Caught them last week. We are gathering eggs like 12 times a day and have set traps for the critters.
     
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Rats. Almost anything else would have attacked your hens by now too.
     
  4. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    Rats? Thats scary. I've never seen any down at the coop, or in the house.... were are they living?

    Im pretty sure a skunk could never find a way in the run/coop - the wire is beneath ground and there is a top to the run, the coop is sturdy.
     
  5. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    Mine look kind of like that and it's big black birds (ravens?) I've seen them fly up to the telephone pole with a whole egg and sit there and eat it. It sort of looks like it has been pecked to me.
     
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    I left a couple of collected eggs ontop of a rabbit hutch and they were gone when I went back later. Curious as to what happened, I put another couple of eggs on top of the hutch and watched from the house.

    The moment I left the yard, a flock of Crows flew over. Carried 2 of the 3 eggs away up into the tree, and then the third egg had a dime sized hole in it and was sucked dry. I would say you have crows raiding your feeder and nests.
     
  7. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    -sigh-

    So, does anyone know of anything I can do to keep these pests out?
     

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