[HOW TO STOP THEM] Do Magpies Steal Eggs? – FIND OUT!

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Magpies can steal eggs, or eat eggs from nest boxes inside chicken, pigeon, and duck houses.

They are able to kill chicks and young birds too if they try to fight them off or can’t find eggs in the coop.

The magpie bird is smart; and is in fact said to be one of the most intelligent animals in the world and the only non-mammal to recognize itself in a mirror, so no wonder they have unraveled the mystery of getting easy meals from our nest boxes!

Magpies have excellent eyesight. Their eyesight is so good that if you see a magpie in the garden and approach the window, they will usually see you and fly off, so this makes them almost impossible to shoot if you have one stealing your eggs and are thinking of doing just that!

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Why Magpies Steal Bird Eggs?

Magpies mostly steals eggs when they’ve got babies in the nest. The eggs in your coop serve as excellent “baby food” to their young. So, even in the face of danger, they think it is worth the risk of stealing the eggs to feed their babies.

A couple of magpies feeding their young with your eggs could cost you up to 12 eggs per day.

They are so smart that they’ll sit and watch the hens to see how they get in and out, then copy the hens.

Do Magpies Steal Eggs

How to Stop Magpies Stealing Or Eating Chickens’ Eggs

Magpies in the UK are black and white birds that are around the same size as crows. They typically steal eggs and baby chick’s from wild bird nest all the time.

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In fact, they will call in others and you will have a bunch of them muching on your eggs and feed.

  • Make a Mustard Bomb

You can leave a mustard egg or two for them.

To do this, blow out the contents of the egg via two pin holes and then refill the shell with mustard and seal the holes.

They’re really nasty to magpies and they hate them! Jays don’t like them either!

This method is really effective and is guaranteed to stop them for good.

You can even get creative with the mix and throw in black pepper, caster oil and a couple of other things to the mixture and oh boy this does stink.

Once done, mark the eggs and leave them in the nest boxes. If the birds are able to take one or the two, they won’t come back for more, haha. Problem solved!!!

  • Use Netting

You can put netting on top the run or even across the doorway.

A good bird netting over the run or coop is sure to keep them out.

They really don’t like getting tangled up in the fine stuff.

Chicken wire would work too but isn’t easy as netting.

  • Use Fake Eggs

Buy some fake eggs and add to the nests. You should use ones that look as close as possible to real eggs.

They are sold on Amazon or at the feed store, and are usually made out of plaster, to keep in the nest boxes as a way to persuade young hens to use the box instead of randomly picking some spot in the field.

Leave them where the magpies can locate them easily, they may steal a few but a few hard whacks on the fake egg will convince them that eggs from your hen house are not good to eat.

  • Scarescrow

You can try scarecrows. They usually don’t work for very long.

  • Fly Curtain Combo

You should fill all the gaps under the eaves with wire netting.

Then buy this pretty fly-curtain (used to keep the flies out but it works for magpies too). And it works!

I thought it would stop the hens, ducks, and rooster too but it really doesn’t bother them at all – they trot through quite happily but the magpies don’t like it at all.

  • Collect Your eggs early

You should try to regularly collect eggs throughout the day and not leave eggs around outside while performing your chores.

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The fewer the eggs lying in the nest boxes, the lesser your chance of attracting a raiding magpie into your coop.

So, be quick, and collect the eggs before the magpie comes around.

  • Larsen Traps

Using traps is humane and a Larsen trap consist of 3 cages side by side. You place a dummy bird (decoy) and bait (an egg or some roadkill) in the middle cage.

The outer two cages feature a sprung lid, propped open with a stick. The magpie enters the trap and lands on the stick (perch), tripping the trap.

The lid snaps shut. From experience, the best decoy is a live magpie.

They will ‘chatter’ when another magpie is close, which will draw them in.

Once you catch the next bird, you can dispose of the decoy bird and replace him with the new catch.

You must provide food (I use some pellets and wheat in a heavy bowl), water, a perch and shade for the decoy bird. I would suggest you are discreet about where you set the trap.

  • Fit a Light Weight Cat Lap

You should fit a light weight cat flap to keep the wild birds out.

It works great!

  • Kestrels

You should get someone with hunting kestrals to take care of it. There is a 50% chance this might not work because a kestrel is not likely to take a magpie.

  • Be Hostile

Act hostile to the magpies. It works but the effect doesn’t last more than a week.

  • Shooting

This should be the last resort if all other methods have failed you.

Shooting magpies is legal in the UK, and putting them down permanently solves the egg theft problem.

An air rifle is adequate to kill them humanely. To get a humane kill, a .22 Calibre legal powered air rifle using compressed air and hunting pellets.

Like all bullets, air rifle pellets have a curved trajectory between the end of the rifle and the target. The further away you go from the target, the more ‘drop’ of the pellet you will see on the target. It is essential to adjust your sights or rifle scope beforehand by using a suitable paper target.

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But, what about ravens, crows, rooks etc. Let’s show you how:

How To Stop Ravens From Stealing Eggs – works for Other Birds too!

A simple yet effective ways of stopping wild birds from coming in is to cover the pop hole on your copp with a black plastic refuse sack or a similar material.

Then cut flares in it so that your chicken and/or other poultry can still get in and out but it stops the wildlife from entering, if your chickens and/or other poultry won’t go in or out then just simply pin 1 flare up for a short while until then get used to it being there.

pop hole cover

Alternative Route

  1. Stab the bamboo cane into the ground.
  2. Get an empty pop bottle.
  3. Cut two wings into the bottle.
  4. Stick some flares made from plastic or other materials to the wings.
  5. Place the pop bottle over the bamboo cane so that the cane goes inside the bottle.

How To Stop CrowsRooksMagpies & Other Wild Birds From Stealing Eggs

That’s it!

Do Magpies Steal Eggs from Other Nests?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Eggs From Other Birds Nests?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Pigeon Eggs?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Chicken Eggs?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Birds Eggs?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Blackbird Eggs?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Duck Eggs?

Yes, they can and they will if opportunity presents itself.

Do Magpies Steal Other Birds Eggs?

Yes, magpies will steal other bird eggs if it they perceive it as an happy meal.

Do Magpies Kill Pigeons?

Yes, magpies can kill pigeons to reduce competition for food.

Do Magpies Steal Shiny Things?

Yes, magpies like their cousins jays and crows are curious and will steal both shiny and dull objects.

Do Magpies Attack Doves?

Magpies are predator’s and will attack doves even when unprovoked out of drive. This is why Doves will chase them off.

Do Magpies Attack Chickens?

Magpies will attack chickens if they get close to their nests or do this to chase them away from a potential food source.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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