Where have all the eggs gone???


9 Years
Jul 23, 2010
Brookline, NH
I have 23 laying hens. I am not sure of their exact age, maybe 8 months (ish) they have only been laying for about 3 months. We were up to 16 or 18 eggs a day as of a couple weeks ago. That number started receeding and has been stuck at 6. We've only been getting 6 eggs a day for the past week or so. It just doesn't seem to make sense. They are too young to molt (I think), the days are getting longer and warmer.

I have not noticed anything that seems like maybe they could be eating them, no broken shells or goopey messes.

I'm from NH, it's still too cold for snakes, I've never seen at rat and the coop in in an enclosed pen. I did notice some holes coming up into the pen. Could something have burrowed (rodent size holes, chipmunk etc) into the pen and be stealing eggs? Would it steal that many eggs, or is there perhaps something going on with my girls that I am not noticing?

We haven't switched their food. They have access to water all day.

Thanks so much for your help.
A rodent of some sort is possible. Not familiar with what types of rodents you have up that way. Are there any cubbyholes or other spots that chickens can get into where they might be laying the eggs. Only ask because my friend went thru something similar. Couldn't figure out why her hens stopped laying and wouldn't start up again. Found a little cubby hole in the coop and found their stash!! My bosses chickens did the same thing but ended up with chicks as a result. Chickens I think are much smarter than we humans give them credit for!!

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