For the last two weeks, I have not received an egg from Dominique. It's been a mystery. The only two things I could think of was that she was too hot, or something was getting her one egg each day.
She had not run out of water. She was not panting. Since Dominiques are mostly black, I thought maybe she would get hotter than lighter colored hens. I don't think she is too hot.
Each time I went out to feed her, I sort of looked around for an egg, hoping maybe she just decided to lay eggs elsewhere. Nothing! Today, I found half an egg shell right in front of the table that holds her Rubbermaid house. It was very wet inside as though it had just been broken open.
It is either a snake or a rat. If I had a trail camera, I could get to the bottom of this quickly! There is no material in her nest box where either could hide. However, there is another Rubbermaid box with leaves and a trash can on its side with grass clippings/leaves from the mower bag.
No matter how difficult it is for me, I suppose I must get a rake and poke around in the grass clippings to see what I can find. This won't be pretty or easy. I will have to drag the rake around the house!
So, now I know! Well, I know she is laying an egg and something is getting it. I doubt Dominique is eating her own eggs.
The next thing will be to check her nest box every hour all day long and see if I can get to the egg first or see something getting it or trying to get it.
If you have hens and have lost eggs to wild thieves, what else besides a snake or rat could enter a very secure enclosure? Any tips to discouraging egg thieves? I know for a fact no other larger animal can get in. Does snake repellant work?