That does it. It’s time to go the marble egg route.
We’ve lost eggs to a huge black snake several times last year, before the dogs at our three laying hens. This morning, one of our three-month-old hens was dead closed up inside the pen. My first guess was that the rest had ganged up on it and killed it. But no. Turns out, it was the dominant “hen” that I suspected of being a rooster.
Figure this out: not a mark on it, but it was wet from the head to the base of the neck. Had to be a snake whose eyes were bigger than its gullet. My guess was that it had gotten in during the day, and was inside when Ann closed up the house and the hens just before dark. So I expected to find the perp top-side in the nesting box. Nope.
Somehow, this snake (almost certainly a black snake but maybe a rat snake) is getting in and out with the house closed up not-quite-tight. We’ll have to problem-solve. And I think I’ll have to place the white marble egg inside the box before the remaining three start laying real, tasty snake-treats. Let him eat that and get away like the cat burglar.