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what happened to eggs

 
Posts: 22
Location: AZ
2
chicken composting toilet greening the desert
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Had 2 hens sitting on eggs for around 10days,this morning upset hens no eggs and not even anymess all birds okay//they are in a cyclone fenced 10x10x6 enclosure at night w/ top wire//any ideas si i can avoid in future
 
pollinator
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Hi Cougina,

Hard to say what happened without proper investigation weighing all the evidence, but some types of egg eaters can slither in; then eat the eggs without leaving much sign. Some large rat snakes could potentially eat ten eggs, but I'm not familiar with all the potential preditors in your area. Also two legged criters can sometimes do unusual and unexpected things. So under these circumstances it really is just guessing potential possibilities, unless you can find adequate substantiated evidence to support any of the presented theories.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11191
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
671
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Does sound suspiciously like a big Rat Snake.  Here a Rat Snake ate four (4) baby turkeys in one sitting, so cramming down two clutches of eggs is not out of the question.  Snake is probably somewhere nearby recovering from the feast.

 
cougina machek
Posts: 22
Location: AZ
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thanks// do not think we have rat dnakes but lot of rattlers/hognose and racers i will check  more careffully
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11191
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
671
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Wow, you do have a lot of Rattlesnakes there!  http://www.whatsnakeisthat.com/category/region/southwest/arizona/
 
Posts: 37
Location: NE AZ
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Here on the Colorado plateau of AZ we have the large gopher snake (often called a bull snake by locals but actually in the same family as corn snakes) It's a very nice snake, I have seen many people pick up wild ones without upsetting the snake. They do a very convincing rattler impression pulling the corners of their mouth back hissing, and shaking their tail in the dead leaves. I have seen these guys eat eggs before, because sometimes after eating they get stuck in the chicken wire, and I have to cut them loose. They tend to keep the mice down so I figure a few eggs are no big deal.
 
master steward
Posts: 2644
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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We use the garden mesh type fencing that has small holes to attach to our chain link fence.

This year has really been a problem year with lots of snakes.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11191
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
671
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Though expensive, but very durable, 1/2 inch hardware cloth will keep snakes out.  
 
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