What Animal is Stealing my Chicken Eggs?

An imbalance in the wildlife of the United States could be impacting your chicken eggs. According to the Independent, black bears, not foxes or raccoons, are stealing chicken eggs in Northern California. The numbers were staggering: 1,500 during 2014 and an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 during the last three years.

This leaves farmers wondering if their chickens will ever stop being raided and how they can resolve this issue without having to shoot the animals. Farmers interviewed noted that they’ve seen a pattern of bears raiding after dark and before dawn.

They have recommended using battery-powered motion lights at home or barns to scare them off or spending money on bear-proof storage units for chickens. The following is a list of Animals known to steal chicken eggs;


A dog also eats eggs, mostly chicken eggs. Crazy right? Dogs will eat anything because they are scavengers! All-natural to them! They don’t discriminate, but that means they could eat an oyster or even an egg (chicken or not). Well, you might ask, why would they need to do this?

Most dogs are omnivores, meaning that they can eat both plant- and animal-based foods. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, including poodles, Italian greyhounds, Australian shepherds, Shih Tzus, and others.

Dogs need protein in their diet to maintain their growth rate and immunity levels. This can mean eating food from both plant and animal sources. A dog’s digestive tract is geared toward processing animal protein while it cannot break down plant proteins very well – therefore, meat is always eaten raw or cooked in a way that renders them digestible for dogs (i.e., by boiling).


Cats (Felis catus) are carnivores and will eat many different types of meat, including beef, chicken, eggs, and even vegetables. Cats, unlike other pets, will sometimes eat bird’s eggs – and chicken eggs in particular.

This is due to the fact that they are a very high-protein food, and since cats have a natural tendency towards carnivorous behavior, they are often lured to find them in bird nests.

Protein is a vital nutrient in a cat’s diet. Protein can be found in some vegetables and fruits, but rarely is it enough to sustain the needs of a healthy adult cat.

Fruit and vegetables that cats eat typically need to be cooked due to their high water content, or they may contain more natural sugars than proteins, which will cause more harm than good for the animal, such as diabetes or obesity.


Crows are black and white birds that like to eat meat. They like to fly in groups and make a lot of noise when there is danger nearby, such as when hunting for food. Crows are very clever – they will steal food from other animals, including smaller birds, squirrels, and mice.

Crows are brilliant and cunning birds, which build their homes in a variety of different places. They enjoy eating a vast range of foods and search for food by following the odors it gives off.

Crows have only been seen eating chicken eggs when they are in vacant lots or fields with no other food to eat; this happens infrequently. It is not uncommon for crows to find fresh eggs on the ground after they have fallen out of nests high up on trees; this is where they get most of their egg intake from.


A magpie scavenges for its food by eating anything from carrion to eggs to young birds. Magpies are often painted as villains in our folklore, stealing food and attacking young children with their beaks.

However, the problem is not so black and white. Magpies are omnivores; they eat insects, worms, and berries, as well as snack on flowers. Magpies can also be seen swooping down to rout flies or biting at large mammals they find on the ground.

Their diet is broad enough that it will naturally contain eggs of other birds, including chickens’ eggs – one of their favorite luxuries, especially when collected from backyard nests. When a magpie feels threatened, it may peck to defend itself, but this behavior does not typically turn aggressive unless it feels cornered or trapped.


Snakes are predators, and their diet includes other animals, such as mice or small birds. However, it’s often said that snakes eat chickens because the eggs are easy prey. There is some truth to this statement. While snakes eat their fair share of fish and frogs, there is evidence that chickens are pretty much the only animal they will actively hunt down.

This isn’t too surprising considering snakes spend most of their time hunting prey animals at night – chickens usually roost at night instead of during the day like other poultry. Snakes eat anything that they can swallow, including the shells of eggs.

Scientists think this ability is due to their unique sensory organs—the Jacobson’s organ in snakes’ mouths taste with extremely sensitive cells called papillae. These papillae are known for detecting changes in salt concentration, hormones, water content, and more.


The raccoon is a scavenger and an opportunist. They have a heightened sense of smell and will track down any animal’s nesting site to get their hands on anything edible they can find. Raccoons are omnivores meaning they eat both animal and plant type foods. In this instance, their main diet consists of “rodents – mice, rats – rodents – field mice – wood mice.”

The raccoon does not usually eat chicken eggs but can still consume them occasionally to satisfy its need for protein. The raccoon knows that one way to get at this delicious morsel is by stealing eggs from chicken nests while they’re incubating them.


Opossums are an animal that is native to North America. They are the only marsupials that have adapted to living in Central and South America. Opossums will eat fruit, insects, trash, and chicken eggs. One of the reasons why they have adapted so well to those areas is because they can live anywhere there is fruit-bearing plants available.

This means they can survive by eating tons of fruits during the winter months because those seasons don’t come as often as their usual shows through summer and fall.

In some regions, opossums have been known to prey on livestock and poultry as well as forage for fruit from orchards. But they also love edible trash such as pet food, fallen fruit from trees, and vegetables grown in gardens or fields. In rural areas, opossums will even dine on carrion when it becomes available after the death of an animal carcass has begun to decay.


Skunks are omnivorous animals, which means they eat not only meat but also plants and other animals. They mostly prey on rats, mice, rabbits, and insects. In North America, skunks prey on chickens by eating their eggs or digging them up from the ground to eat the eggs inside of them.

Skunks have a unique digestive system that makes it difficult for them to digest bones. That’s why skunks eat the chicken eggs whole rather than crack into them first as a bird would.


Hedgehogs are notorious for eating eggs, and chicken eggs in particular. They can’t get enough of them, apparently! Hedgehogs are not one of the most widely known creatures, but they need to eat even though they don’t have teeth to do so.

They seem like an odd choice for a meal, but chickens’ eggs are much more nutritious than any other animal’s eggs, and hedgehogs can’t refuse them. Hedgehogs will carry around up to four chicken eggs in their cheeks, treating them like little pets.


Rats love chicken eggs and will eat all they can get their small rodent paws on. Not even nests are safe when these little guys come around looking for a tasty snack. Rats are only interested in the egg inside, which is why they cleverly peel away the egg’s protective membrane before gobbling it up in one sitting.

As disgusting as that sounds, rats never seem to be picky when it comes to food and will do whatever it takes to get their next meal.

How to Protect Your Chicken Eggs from Predators?

To protect your chicken eggs, you need to ensure that the henhouse is predator-proof. You can easily do this by using chicken wire or chicken wire mesh under your coop’s slats.

You’ll also need to cover the outside of your coop with hardware cloth to keep out potential predators like dogs and raccoons, but it’s essential to make sure your chickens are kept safe from hawks as well. If they were nesting underneath the walls of the coop, use a hawk perch instead of a fence.

When placed inside or near their nests, this hawk perch prevents hawks from landing on their eggs.

Bottom Line

Chickens need to lay eggs, and they need the right conditions in order to do that. If you want your flock to be healthy and productive, one of the best things you can do for them is provide a safe place from predators. In the past, chicken eggs were a source of food and income.

However, as more and more chickens are raised for meat – where their eggs are not used as a food ingredient – it’s hard to say whether animals will have a place in the future of urban livestock. That said, there is no reason your flock should suffer from hungry predators while you sleep or go about your day.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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