Friday, February 25, 2011

Searching for an Eggs-planation

For the past two weeks, I’ve been finding a broken egg on the milk stand platform.  Not like an egg with a crack in it, or an egg that had been pecked by another chicken (as there wouldn’t be much of anything left as they will readily eat a broken egg).  It looks like it was dropped from a decent height, as it had a very large “splat” profile.  Egg shell, egg white & yolk were all still there.
I’ve also noticed that we haven’t been getting as many eggs as normal.  It’s still winter so I understand that they won’t be laying as much, but about a month ago we were consistently getting at least a half-dozen eggs and it seems that suddenly we were only getting two or three a day. 
Snakes?  Possibly, as I’ve wrangled my share of them out of the nest boxes and relocated them far away.  I don’t kill them as they also keep the rodent population down; and I’m a bit partial to the scaled fellas.  We’ve had a few days of 60 or even 70 degree weather around here this month, but I didn’t think it was anything hot enough or long enough to bring the snakes out of hibernation.
We’ve also had a sudden small, but noticeable increase of the squirrel population here lately and I’ve heard people say that squirrels could carry an egg away.  So I figured those little furry buggers were taking our eggs & in the process, occasionally dropping one on the milking stand while making its way out of the barn via the shelving & rafters. 
But dropping one in the exact same place?  Every time? 
So after finding the fifth, maybe sixth egg yesterday afternoon in its typical “Splat” pattern, I started to earnestly look around for any clues.  Not that I claim to know the inner workings or thoughts of the fluffy tailed rodent called a squirrel, but it seems to me that if it were to take an egg out of the barn it could have taken a much easier way out.  Then I looked directly above & around the scene of the egg-splat. 
Could a chicken be nesting somewhere on the shelves or in the rafters, lay an egg & have it roll off & fall to the milk stand?  I suppose that was as good of an answer than any, but I still couldn’t  figure out where the chicken would sit that could cause the egg to roll & fall into the egg-splat area.  So now I’m on a mission.  I’ve gone out to the scene of the crime four times already this morning in hopes to find a chicken nesting there, but nothing so far.

1 comment:

  1. Another farm mystery! I can't county the strange things we have had one time a rather large calf ended up in a different pen with no open doors. Did it jump up on the hay stacked near the pens....then hop down in the other one...never figured it out.

    Would the egg break if the chicken just stood there to lay and it broke on hitting the stand?
    By it being in the same spot....made me think that.

    I am now getting nearly a dozen eggs every two days from 15 birds and some are getting pretty old.

    Hope you figure it out soon.