The Mystery of the Missing Eggs
For a while after we moved our hens out of their cozy wooden house and into the roomier hoop house, we noticed a decline in egg production. Originally we had attributed it to stress, since the hens had been harassed and a couple of them killed by a dog just before we moved them into their new house. This weekend, however, we discovered the real cause of the missing eggs.
The hoop house has a human-sized door in the end, so we can go in to gather eggs and fill the feeder and waterer. We close the door at night, but during the day it’s open so the chickens can come and go and free range outdoors.
Saturday after we arrived home from running errands, we knew there should be some eggs to gather since we had heard the hens singing their “I just laid an egg” song. For those of you who have never heard this, it goes like “buck, buck, buck, buck, buck, buck, buckET”! We went to check, but there were NO EGGS! This was unheard of for afternoon. Our suspicions immediately turned to Ellie, our dog, who had lately been caught chewing up the ceramic nest eggs. We got some scrap lumber and quickly made a 12 x 12 inch chicken-sized door so the chickens could still come and go, but Ellie could not get in.
Not long after we had completed the new chicken door, we saw Ellie trying to get in. She stuck her head in the chicken door, but then could not get her front feet in. All was good. We went back to work on other things, but in less than an hour, we found Ellie inside the chicken coop, chowing down on freshly laid eggs!! She had somehow figured out that if she put both her front feet in the door first, she could then squeeze the rest of her body through.
We closed the opening down to about 12 x 7 inches, still big enough for a chicken, but too small for Ellie to get her shoulders through.
I hope. We’ll see tomorrow.