Eggs Being Eaten by Animals

by Joe
(Bridgewater VA)


I have had free range chickens now for about 3 yrs. I have about 100 hens and 10 Roosters. I get about 7 dozen eggs per day.

Yesterday for the very first time in 3 years, I went out to gather the eggs at 3:30PM (after I feel as though all are done laying for the day) and something ate at least 40 of my eggs and left the shell.

I don't believe I have a rat, I have never had one before and I find it hard to believe a rat could eat that many eggs.

I don't think it was anything that could be big enough to eat 40 eggs because it would have had to get by my chicken watch dogs, don't think that is possible.

Is it possible that I have a chicken amongst the group cracking eggs open , eating a little and then all the other chickens eating them as well? What is more likely?

Wow! That’s quite a loss in one day. It’s so hard to say without seeing the damage to the shells and knowing your set up.

I’ve had Blue Jays come into my coop during the day and eat eggs, so just about anything is possible. Rats generally get into feed, though I suppose, smart as they are, they could get into an egg.

I’ve been told if you see one rat, there are at least 20 that you haven’t seen. Certainly eggs that are cracked open are a big temptation that most chickens won’t resist.

Sounds like you have some detective work to do. I’ve set rat traps in the coop under weighted down metal crates, so the chickens can’t get hurt, but rats can get in.

Live traps can be set in a corner, especially if you find a possible entrance for this egg predator. I would be concerned for the safety of my chickens, as something with an appetite like that could possibly do more damage than just eggs.

I’m sure you’ll be checking the hen house more often, if possible, and see if you can catch anything in the act. Egg eating, in chickens, can become epidemic if not dealt with.

I usually keep dummy eggs in all my nests as a constant reminder to the chickens that if they do pop open there is nothing inside.

I can imagine the shock you must have felt upon this discovery. I hope you find the culprit quickly and can put an end to the egg loss.

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