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This will be short, but I’m hoping it will elicit some advice. After getting into a routine of four eggs a day from my four hens, I went out one day last week to find no eggs.  Same thing next day.  I concluded the girls had started a new little nest under a bush somewhere.  A nest with eight lovely eggs in it.  Well, if you could see my “yard” you would know what a disaster that would be.  Even David Attenborough couldn’t find a nest of eggs in this yard.

The Chook's environment

Fancy an Easter Egg Hunt here?

My solution was to close them in the henhouse the following day, until there were four lovely googies in their usual spot.  That worked just fine.  For a couple days.  Then they disappeared again.  But I had cleverly left an old egg (recognizable by the extra stripes of poop) in the nest just to remind them…so I expected possibly five eggs to be there.  There were none! not even the old egg, and no traces of egg.  Well, they obviously hadn’t carried the extra egg out to a new nest somewhere, so it was someone  else.  But WHO?

My first thought was that it must be rats.  There aren’t really any likely native animals here that would pinch eggs.  The only candidates I can think of would be a quoll,

Egg Thief

Spotted Tail Quoll – Egg Thief?

or a devil, but I think they would take a chook rather than eggs.

Tasmanian Devil

A real Tasmanian Devil

So perhaps rats.  I’m not really sure that a rat could carry off an egg, but I couldn’t think of any other possibility.  Could be a Norwegian Rat, or a native rat…  Just an ordinary black rat.  I plugged up some obvious rat tunnels into the henhouse and waited…

Alas!  It was not the rats.  I have discovered the culprit.  Crows.  (see this video of a crow stealing an egg)  Yes!  While I haven’t seen one carry one off, I have seen them entering the chook house or trying to get in.  Each time there were no eggs, so I haven’t witnessed the actual deed, but I now feel certain that they are the thieves.  Now my question is, How do I stop them???

Help!  Please!

And please don’t tell me it might be snakes.                    MM