Would the geese have done it?

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Jane-M

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Would the geese have done it?
« on: July 08, 2011, 10:17 »
I neglected to shut the door on my broody last night and this morning she has abandoned her nest, 7 of the eggs have gone totally, not a bit of shell in sight. The house is in the goose/duck pen though none of them actually ever use it at this time of year. The pen is foxproof but I am sure rats and little things can get in. In this case I would have expected to find evidence of the missing eggs. Would the geese have eaten them? Surely not? Maybe rats are just tidier than I expected. :(
3 o'clock is both too early and too late to start anything - Sartre said so.

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ferretkeeper

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Re: Would the geese have done it?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 11:45 »
I'm so sorry you've lost your potential new babies. I don't know of geese taking eggs but I haven't been keeping them all that long really, although they can be a bit mean to chickens, I've caught them grabbing their feathers once or twice. Funnily enough my broody and her chicks and ducklings are in a house/run within the geese's area.

Could it have been other wildlife? People tell me of mink or stoats taking their chickens in very rural places. It's odd because when I have a broody hen on eggs she goes mental if anyone or anything comes near her. It would have to be something quite bad for her to leave the nest altogether.

I too had a case of missing eggs, I had placed dummy ones in a couple of places to try and get the girls to lay where I wanted not where they did. The eggs weren't wooden or china, they were real ones which I blew the liquid out of (like you do at easter) and I filled with expanding foam filler!

Anyway one night they all disappeared, like you no shell or mess anywhere, I expected to find them half eaten and spat out somewhere nearby.

 Foxes can get into the outer run area at night so it might have been them but there are occasional rat sightings as well, we live by a river.

It's strange though because I have found piles of eggs in various places well away from the run, hence the false ones, so they obviously were missed by whoever pinched those eggs.

I hope you get to the bottom of it for your own peace of mind, I'm seriously contemplating CCTV to see what goes on when my back is turned.

Best wishes, Helen



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Helenaj

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Re: Would the geese have done it?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 14:05 »
I would say that it's not likely to be geese,  as my neighbour keeps two geese with his hens and never had any problem. Your thief is more likely to be a rat or squirrel, both (and especially squirrels) will remove the eggs entirely.

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Jane-M

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Re: Would the geese have done it?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 17:31 »
I have been up to remove the old nesting material - and there are little round burrows in it. I have a feeling that the poor hen has been sharing her nest with an intruder, of course I hadn't been lifting her up to count the blasted things every day so maybe they have been nicked over a few days. Well, next time she'll be in an ark in the hen run - this time I was simply short of space!! The hen run is in the garden next to the house and the goose pen is over the lane and in an open space. We have only red squirrels here and they aren't brave enough to come close to the houses. I suspect other and more wily rodents. Well I hope they enjoyed their omlettes.

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orchardlady

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Re: Would the geese have done it?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 20:10 »
Well I've found my culprit to missing eggs. I have one hen that likes to lay away and I've found the place she lays, so each day I check to see if there is an egg. Sometimes I forget and when I check the next day nothing. I had always put it down to her not laying every day. The other evening when I went to shut the pop holes I remembered that I had not checked this lay away nest. To my amazement I could hear grunting and slurping sounds coming from the near vicinity of the nest. Low and behold about a foot away from the nest was a very happy hedgehog grunting and slurping away at an egg. I left him to it as I felt that if he was bright enough to have found the nest good luck to him. Could your culprit have been a hedgehog? They do travel in groups as I've seen them congregated around a chicken feeder of a summer evening.

Orchardlady

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Jane-M

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Re: Would the geese have done it?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 11:02 »
Well I've found my culprit to missing eggs. I have one hen that likes to lay away and I've found the place she lays, so each day I check to see if there is an egg. Sometimes I forget and when I check the next day nothing. I had always put it down to her not laying every day. The other evening when I went to shut the pop holes I remembered that I had not checked this lay away nest. To my amazement I could hear grunting and slurping sounds coming from the near vicinity of the nest. Low and behold about a foot away from the nest was a very happy hedgehog grunting and slurping away at an egg. I left him to it as I felt that if he was bright enough to have found the nest good luck to him. Could your culprit have been a hedgehog? They do travel in groups as I've seen them congregated around a chicken feeder of a summer evening.

Orchardlady

We have loads of hedgehogs - I encourage them and nurse babies over the winter. Is this to be my reward?? I love hedgepigs and if they take advantage of my sloppy husbandry well fair enough.

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evie2

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Re: Would the geese have done it?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 17:30 »
I like to see hedgehogs in the garden but apparently they will eat chicks if given the chance  :(
May this day be blessed with gifts, understanding and friends.  Merlin 2001-2012 Pandora 2001-2013 xxx



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