Okay, I had a mystery. After the chickens took the berries still green off of the plants and dropped them, right where they picked them.
I put chicken wire over the rock tower that my main strawberries are in. But the cages were not a perfect fit. They were good enough to keep chickens and birds out though.
I had 2 berries, good sized ripening, and I was planning on getting them the next day. I count my strawberry harvest by the berry, 2 would be a big year! Usually slugs get them, but too dry this spring for them. So, I was excited! I went out there, nothing, I mean notta. The stems were neatly sliced! Grrr. I asked everyone if they got my strawberries. Nope.
So I waited and watched, nothing unusual. And the strawberries are still covered with green ones, a few showing pink.
I read in another forum of mystery disappearances of strawberries.
There are lots of critters that like them. Of course, we know of slugs, and my chickens, birds, and get this... squirrels. The little rascals, I know that I have several living in an old tree beside the garden. It never even occured to me that they would steal my berries. But, when I look at how the cage doesn't completely meet... perfect for a squirrel to climb in. Then just bite the stem, berry in mouth and back out... no footprints, since it could climb on the inside of the wire!
I have everbearers, so all is not lost! I will simply have to squirrel proof. Then they also mentioned that mice will steal them too. Sheesh, how does one mouse proof... hardware cloth or screen wire?
No wonder, once the blackberries get loaded I get more strawberries, the little guys have been stealing them! I am not being mean here, I have 3 beds of them! I will share, but I want one of the three!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!