This morning, I found this thing that looked very much like a bit of rubber by the eggs. I picked it up without thinking before realising it was slightly moist.
It is almost the size and shape of an adult human thumb. I'd never seen anything like it, so, being inquisitive, I dissected it - see attachment.
I haven't placed it inline as the squeamish might not want to click - click "show spoiler" to see pic.
It had no bones, no other form than this tubular shape. I've never bred chickens but it seemed nothing like a chick - no sign of feather roots or any bone structure.
It did smell slightly of ham. (And no, I didn't eat it! Perrrrlease!) In fact, I was slightly grossed and weirded out - I've kept chickens on and off for years, albeit never with a cockerel in the flock, but never seen anything like this.
The only thing I can think of is that we have terrible squirrel trouble - they kill a lot of birds, cause endless havoc, eat through the plastic chicken food bin,chew gas pipes, destroy trees etc.
But again, I cannot think what this could be. And why it was right by the eggs. (No cats in the vicinity - just badgers).
All 4 chickens seem to be alive and healthy - is it something weird and ectopic that grew inside a chicken?
I have to admit, I'm baffled! Any ideas?
- Spoiler: show