Fresh eggs vs existing eggs

Kia ora,
I thought I should ask about this before submitting a feature request :wink:
Our project checks our 800+ traps fortnightly and we usually add a new lure at each check but we only change the eggs once a month. So technically every trapper should be adding ‘whole egg’ to their lure list each time they check their traps as there is consistently an egg in every trap. However, it would be really helpful to differentiate between eggs that were physically changed or is the existing egg in the trap.
The reason we need to know this is all our lines have two parties that take turns about trapping and they get confused about who has done what. We can’t look back in trap records to know for sure what exactly happened with the lures with the current system. Do you think there is a way around this? And on the subject, many trappers forget to add ‘whole egg’ each time because they aren’t actually adding an egg to the trap. Is there a way to bulk upload eggs to all our records from the back end? Thanks :slight_smile:

The administrator of your project can add a term into project categories “trap bait type” this will then be available to your project members on the app.

Hi I realise you are probably looking at cost for not changing eggs every time but keep in mind that eggs are porus so stoats etc can scent an egg that is past its best, why would it bother going inside a tunnel that it is already warry of to get a non desirable egg. also if you are after mustelids a suggestion would be to run half you traps on eggs and the other half on something like rabbit/ salted rabbit, if you google kiwitrust,org you will find my 2005 report on rabbit being about 3 times more catches than eggs others have done the same trial .
talk to egg suppliers I ran 220 traps for 10 years and a large supplier gave me surplus size 6 eggs for free

Hi Dave thanks for your reply. We use eggs as a constant bait and we add a mix of lots of other lures; dried rabbit, beef fat, fresh rabbit, mayo, scented oils - everything we can get our hands on to lure those critters in! We find eggs stay fresh in our traps for a month so no need to change more frequently than that and are very lucky to have a supplier that donates just under 1000 eggs to us each month. Keep up the great work where ever you are! :+1:

Doh. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that :woozy_face: Can we please delete this, I’m embarrased! :rofl:

I thought th “ateggs” were mainly a visual lure for mustelids and could thus be artificial eggs.

Hi Pen Trial work done in about 2006 came to the conclusion that stoats could smell the internal of the egg because it is porus.
In reply to the other comment personally I have never understood why people think it is a good idea to throw a mix of lures in a tunnel, if a stoat doesn’t like the smell of one why would it venture into a tunnel that is already warry of just to check out another lure that might be ok, I have been more in favor of aleternating lures in tunnels down a line cheers

@tckccoord Don’t be embarrassed, you’d be amazed how many admin don’t know the features has to offer. You have given me the opportunity to remind groups about the project categories

Hi Dave, It is a never-ending quest trying to figure out what works best. There are highly regarded professional trappers who are employed by big entities who recommend mixing it up and using a smorgasbord of baits & lures in each trap so that is the advice we’ve been taking for a few years now.

I have been curious about the effectiveness of eggs in traps as they very rarely get eaten, even when the predator/ mustelid has opportunities to do ie. when traps are sprung either with a catch or not.
I posed the question to a small mammal scientist from DOC about this very thing and spoke to him the other day and he actually wasn’t totally convinced that eggs were a very effective lure for stoats, you are right though, it was proven there was a small amount of scent that stoats could smell from the egg.
The research was done nearly 20 years ago now so apparently they are looking at undertaking more scientific trials on the baits/lures being used today. There is a lot of dogma around baiting with eggs so I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to suggest we stop using them!

One trend I have noticed since adding beef trimmings to our traps is an increase in the number of feral cats we are catching in DOC 200s - 10 since Jan last year.
We’ve caught 232 mustelids in the same time frame, it’s the number that is still out there that really counts but the steady increase in kiwi through our monitoring shows our trapping is effective.

I am interested in the results you’ve had with alternating baits down your lines, have any lures stood out? Cheers

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Hi I have attached my original report from about 18 years ago, DOC northland followed up with thier own and came up with salted rabbit caught 3 times more than hen eggs, If I find it I will post the DOC trial as they used a few other baits like pilchards, .
What isn’t mentioned is that the next year I manged to source enough rabbits to run all 220 traps on salted rabbit, didn’t catch any more stoats than other years, I could write a page on that but we have a double set of traps every 4.5 hectares which is high so during rabbit and egg stoats probably found the rabbit they were after anyway. But because we have such a high density of traps we still use eggs on evey second trap and they do catch stoats, eggs are probably more a visual lure and inmy experiance fairly usless for ferrets.
One thing about Salted rabbit always take the old baits out of the bush some pen trial work found that while salted rabbit attacted stoats a roughly same numbers as fresh rabbit stoat were not overly keen on eating salted rabbit so you don’t want old baits lying around
The following year Connovation released Erayz so I ran a smaller trial hoping it would save me cutting up hundreds of rabbits, I wasn’t impressed caught 3 times as many rats as salted rabbit, some might think that is great but my stoat traps are for stoats, and I’m still to see any actual study that says a rat in a trap attracts a stoat.
I know some of the trappers saying load up tunnels with everything as we share some info, but it all is lacking any actual trial work like we and also DOC did on eggs Vs rabbit, but I’m all in favor of occasionally doing a run through with something different.

The best lures are probably going to vary dependant on situation, when people ring and say stoat is killing my chooks I just say use the dead chook in a trap.

It sound like it might be worthwhile to invest in some SA cat traps,( Steve actually did the DOC egg trial in about 2007) if you are catching that many cats in DOC 200’s you should do better with SA cat traps. If you have not seen it ask your DOC office for a copy of report on transfer of Cat disease to Kiwi will make you want to get rid of Cats.
Seeing as you have Kiwi probably best not to use any bait /lure at entrance of tunnel like is becoming trendy, I have grave concerns about DOC 200 safety near Kiwi, there is a recent DOC report that some have had Bills smashed. on a std 200 distance from mesh to trap is 135mm but a female Brown Kiwi has a Bill around 180mm plus head and neck.
I’m not sure where you are from but have a look on line at Northland kiwi groups they have some switched on trappers who may have found good lures, I asked one last year and he still said rabbit/salted rabbit were coming out on top
If your kiwi numbers are going up and you are catching that many mustelids then your are obviously doing a really good job

okt-bait-trial-report-rabbitvsegg-sum-2005-08.pdf (107.9 KB)


One thing I should have asked was, with the increase in Cat catches since adding Beef Trimming, what where you previously using in the traps just eggs or eggs + rabbit etc, what I was interested to know was if you had been using any other meat type baits that for some reason hadn’t drawn the Cats into the Trap.

I guess what I’m getting at was it the Beef that attracted the cat or previous was there no meat lure that may have attarcted them anyway

Thanks for the informative post, Dave_e. I’m hoping to increase my mustelid kills this year, so this should help.

It’s purely anecdotal, but I’ve trapped a number of stoats and weasels using rodents as the primary lure. It’s been especially effective at trapping mustelids during autumn and winter.

When possible, I add a rodent to the standard tunnel lures, to enhance the overall appeal. My success using rodents is largely due (I suspect) to the fact that I’m usually able to remove rodent carcasses before they start to rot, because mustelids are fussy about the state of the meat that they scavenge. Hungry juveniles are more likely to scavenge a rodent than an experienced hunter, presumably.

I’m in the process of adding mouse traps to my DoC tunnels - 1 per single-set and 2 per double-set, to enhance their appeal to mustelids, in theory. Mice and small rats are frequently eaten by female weasels, and female stoats eat them by the dozen when they’re raising kits. I’m hoping to trap more female mustelids than normal, by offering them an easy meal. Standard lures, like eggs (real or fake) and flesh or fat will be used in all but 2 of the tunnels, which are going to be “scavenger tunnels”, which will rely on small rodents as the primary lure. Secondary lures will be whatever I use with the mousetraps.

I’m using the white and red plastic mouse traps sold at Mitre 10, called Times Up One Touch, because they’re the best model of mouse trap that I’ve used. I’m mounting them inside my tunnels with small screws, by drilling a hole through the base of the bait cup. They’re positioned so that the body of a mouse will be just past the edge of the treadle, to ensure that scavengers will eat while they’re on the treadle, instead of the base of the tunnel.


Could you run a small trial, of one line, perhaps, comparing tunnels lured with eggs to un-lured tunnels? Are eggs all they’re cracked up to be (pardon the pun)?

What about whole vs cracked eggs?
Cracked eggs should be way more effective, in theory, due to the scent lure created, and tunnels will experience more rodent activity, because the eggs can be eaten. Female stoats hunt large numbers of mice/small rats when they’re raising their kits, so tunnels that experience the most rodent activity, should be the most attractive to them.

Also, I’ve read that female stoats and weasels aren’t as attracted to hens’ eggs as males are, because they realize that breaking the shell of a hens’ egg would be difficult. A cracked egg solves the problem.

Obviously, eggs wouldn’t last as long if they’re cracked, but what if the trapping-rates of female mustelids doubled using this technique? If only eggs were cheaper!


I like the idea of your mice traps seeing as you are able to to check them before things go off.
There have been a few trials with unlured tunnels try a google search with a few key words try run through in those words.
The DOC traps and the semi maze tunnels are not really suitable as run through tunnels, The Fenn and Conibear traps are more suitable for unlured run through type traps . the Poms mostly game keepers are really good at un lured tunnels/Traps the new traps the Poms made a couple of years ago to comply with new regs are all basically run through which can of course be baited
Its hard to get good results with just a single line of traps, stoat catches are fairly low anyway so easy for data to get distorted, in my 2004/5 egg rabbit trial I had 220 double set traps/Tunnels run over 15 months and caught about 100 stoats and really needed all that data to show how much better rabbit is

I don’t know how many traps you have or eggs you use but if it was a reasonable amount talk to your local eggs suppliers, one would drop me off a carton 144 eggs for free when they were in the area, I know another one is suppling another group, mostly no 6 eggs as they can’t sell any many as they have, might be different now while the egg shortage is on.
all the trial work shows eggs are not as good as rabbit or salted rabbit but if you have enough traps out there then mixing it up and using eggs in some is good can change around which ones you use eggs in, I have never tried the cracking eggs as I want them to last several weeks
have a good day