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.