Mystery In The Coop

I do believe I have a dilemma.  I’ve been having a mystery in the chicken coop.

There’s been an unidentified perpetrator destroying eggs.  The first suspects were the young roosters.  Over time, the circle of life dismissed the roosters from the suspect list.  That left the one young hen, as I didn’t think my tried and true hens would break that confidence.

I locked up the hen in a dog crate, where she layed her own tiny eggs, but left them undamaged… And I still had few eggs.

Other suspects?  Skunk?  Raccoon?

No tracks in the snow.

Now along the way, there’s been an innocent or two… Eden, who enters the coop to snitch a snack of frozen chicken poo as a treat in the morning.  I don’t believe she even knows about the eggs.  The cat, who picks at the scraps, completely ignores the baby chicks, and occasionally has even spent the night in the coop!

I just couldn’t get enough clues.

I dismissed Eden, because she can only get in the coop when I’m there.

The young hen sure didn’t bother her own egg when locked up with it.

All I had was a very fat cat and a mystery.

Since the cat is about of age, my initial thought was that she was pregnant.  It’s been too long, though, and she never grew bigger.  I began to question her innocence.

The past two days, with this deep snow, I’ve kept the chickens locked in their coop.  I’ve collected undamaged eggs each day.

Initially, I would find cracked eggshells and slime in the nestboxes.  Now, the eggs just disappear with no trace.

My conclusion of this lengthy investigation?

Initially, the young roosters began the cannibalizing of the eggs.  As they each disappeared into the stewpot, the frequency diminished.  Along comes the cat, enters the tiny door, and cleans up the cracked eggs.  The roosters are no longer available to crack open the shells, but entire eggs disappeared.

I couldn’t hardly believe a cat could swallow an entire egg… But either she does, or hauls them off somewhere to devour them.  That explains her distended belly.

So, what’s your opinion?  Have you ever heard of an egg stealing cat?  Should I set up my GoPro to catch her in the act?  And even more importantly, how can I let my chickens out, without letting that cat IN???

 


Comments

Mystery In The Coop — 16 Comments

  1. A mystery! Oooooh, who doesn’t love a mystery to solve? Set up the camera, oh please do. It could reveal an unexpected villain or an unforeseen twist or…who knows? Let’s find out!

  2. An interesting mystery. Please let us know who is the perpetrator when you find out. I hope it’s not the cat–I like cats, even fat ones! 😉

  3. Set up the GoPro. If you catch the perpetrator, (I should say when) it will make a good post as well!

    The cat seems like a likely suspect.

  4. Set up the camera. I seem to remember we had a cat or two who would eat eggs when I was young. I’m not 100% sure of my memory though.

  5. From my own experience, if an egg gets cracked, they will all eat it, and they will eat every speck of it they can to get rid of it. I’ve heard they do this to ward off predators. I figure they are like goats with beaks and will eat anything in front of them. I’ve had heavier hens crack eggs by jumping into the laying box and then she eats it, even though she never meant to crack it. Some hens will lay a thin shelled egg if they need more calcium, and those often get smashed by someone. I’ve never had an egg eating cat. That being said, of you are missing alot of eggs, I would suspect an egg eating snake. I’d set up a camera for sure.

  6. Guess you could restrain the cat in the dog crate while you do the chicken chores. Skunks and coons (and snakes) aren’t out and around much in the cold and they should all leave tracks. No two legged critter messing with you? He should leave tracks, too. It is a mystery.

  7. It could be a rat getting in they don’t need a very big hole…I’ve never heard of cats eating the eggs when my grandparents had chickens the cats never bothered the eggs..

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