Will egg yolks harm the local wildlife? Am I inviting snakes?

I recently started eating about six boiled egg whites daily. They are tasty, high in protein and low in calories. That leaves me with six cooked egg yolks every day that I’m not consuming because of the cholesterol. Putting them down the disposer made the entire kitchen smell of sulphur and other malodorous egg-y stuff. Ditto putting them in the trash - waiting for the weekly pickup made the garage stink. So I’ve been throwing the hard-cooked yolks out the window into the backyard. I toss the yellow spheres outside throughout the day. Overnight something eats them.

I live in suburban Boston, where the wildlife consists of squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, raccoons, coyotes, snakes and the odd deer. I don’t know what’s eating the yolks. I hope it’s not snakes; I hate snakes worse than Indy Jones does and don’t want to encourage them. So two questions:

  1. What’s most likely eating the yolks? Snakes? (I hope to heaven not.)
  2. If it is a mammal, am I causing it harm? Are squirrels going to fall out of the trees with coronaries?


Why are you cooking them?

I would imagine that almost any animal that comes across them is going to eat them; most likely raccoons, birds, squirrels, and other small rodents. What makes you think it would be snakes?

You could spread out some sand, toss the yolks on top, then look at the tracks.

Almost anything will eat an egg yoke but probably not snakes. They prefer life food except for the ones that will eat whole eggs. Fat is an important part of any animals diet and is usually the biggest challenge most animals face is getting enough fat. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

Snakes, raccoons, birds, and many other animals eat eggs as part of their natural diet.

But you might consider eating the yolks.

Cite: The National Center for Biotechnology Information

There are other citations in the first link.

I cook the eggs whole in the shell in an automatic egg boiler. It’s a nifty gadget. Then I peel the shell, extract the yolk and toss it outside.

I thought snakes because I read somewhere that they like to slither into henhouses and eat eggs and some will eat birds’ eggs in nests. But I might be wrong. IANAH. (I am not a herpetologist.)

I really admire your idea of the sand,DCnDC. Very clever! Thanks!

Put them in a bowl in the fridge and toss them directly into the trash right before you take the trash out. They won’t get smelly in the fridge. I’ve accidentally left yolks in the fridge for weeks without issue.

Or eat them, hell yeah!

ETA: Oh…you are boiling them before removing the yolks. Nevermind.

During the summer, we put putrescibles into the freezer until trash night. Then even if it thaws before pickup, it doesn’t have the time to really rot and smell.

Just make sure it’s labeled well or that everyone knows that the dish without the lid is garbage, or whatever works.

it could be egg eating snakes that you have attracted from India or Africa.

“Putrescibles!” That’s a gorgeous word!

Get a cheap video camera that detects motion and sends images to your e-mail, then post them here.

There are lots of other possibilities for what is eating the egg yolks - including bears, hoboes, Bigfoot, space aliens…:eek:

I wouldn’t be surprised if it were mostly just insects breaking them up and carrying them off. Insects are remarkably efficient at cleaning up that sort of thing.

I would agree with you, DCnDC, except that six yolks are a pretty substantial weight for insects. One or two, yeah, maybe but not all six. It’d take the army ants that Charlton Heston faced in Naked Jungle to carry off six heavy yolks night after night.

Well, Johnny, on your excellent advice (newbie that I am, how can I question the wisdom of a Charter Member?) I have just eaten an egg yolk. It was delicious.


Oh, I’m a wise guy, all right!

(Note: There is no secret group of Wise Guys who run the world. Anything you hear about the Weisenheimers is false.)

It wouldn’t even surprise me if the critter eating the egg yolks wasn’t wild. Cats and dogs would both eat egg yolks like that, though pet cats are more likely to be prowling around at night. Then you also have feral populations of cats and dogs in most areas.

The idea of a squirrel with a heart attack is pretty humorous, but I don’t think there’s much to worry about. As someone else already said, wild animals don’t have the excess of food that people do, so a little extra fat is likely to be a good thing. That and the fact that cholesterol problems take decades to build up. It’s one thing to live on a diet of egg yolks if you can live to 60. If you’re only going to live 6 years, then there’s not so much time for disease to build up.

And the only reason I’d worry about snakes is that your eggs may be attracting rodents. It would be the rodents that might attract snakes.

what is eating it is not a yolking matter.

I’m not convinced that feeding raccoons (or any other wildlife) is a great idea unless you want them setting up residence in your attic or crawlspace. They’re cute at a distance, but can be trouble in they get used to being fed.

I support the “throw the yolks in the freezer until garbage day” plan.

That was eggs-ecrable. Did you poach that from someone?

Maybe I’ve lived a shell-tered life, but I did not crack up at that joke.