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I caught her red-handed.......

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, it's been going on for a few weeks now, this laying of eggs in the coop OUTSIDE (like 6 inches or so outside) the egg box, after having been laying in the egg box for 6 months.  I pick up the egg and put it in the box to show that's where it goes, at least 1 of the others has followed suit, but the ones I put back in the box wind up back in the coop again!

 

I posted last week about this and nobody believed that it was actually the chicken moving the eggs.  Well, today I went to gather eggs, and she was sitting on one in the coop.  I gently rolled it into the egg box and closed the coop door.  Then, I very quietly cracked the egg box lid open enough to see inside and sonofagun I watched her roll that egg back out of the box.

 

I rubbed DE on their feathers and the egg box twice already and I don't see any bugs in there.  There's plenty of fluff in there and it's no different than it's been for months.  At least 1 other is laying in the egg box.

 

What on earth is going on?  This all started when we let them free-range in our backyard 3 days in a row a few weeks ago.  We had to stop because.....poop everywhere.  Is this a protest?

post #2 of 8
Did you have eggs laid in the yard? You might just try re-training put some golf balls or something in the box so you don't have to move thier eggs you can just take them and leave (or move) the golf balls. It sounds to me is more likely confusion. Someone couldn't or didn't want to go back to the coop to lay so they started laying elsewhere.

As for free range and poop in the yard... I only let my girl free range 1-2 hoirs before dusk. Most have already laid ed for the day, they can forage with less damage to my yard and site there's still poop but we've been doing this over a month and it's never been enough to be bothersome. Mostly we only do the evening hours becuase I have a large dog that I have to kennel, and I don't want her stuck inside for a long time if she needs to potty
post #3 of 8

Ornery chicken!  LOL  Funny story though!  :lau 

"When raising chickens you must think like a chicken...NOT like a human!"

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies-diseases-injuries-before-they-happen 

 

Reply

"When raising chickens you must think like a chicken...NOT like a human!"

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies-diseases-injuries-before-they-happen 

 

Reply
post #4 of 8
How high is the nest from the floor. If she can squat on the floor in front of the nest and still reach the egg, the nest is too close to the floor.
Edited by enola - 3/1/16 at 10:18am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by enola View Post

How high is the nest from the floor. If she can squat on the floor in front of the nest and still reach the egg, the nest is too close to the floor.

The nest is the same level as the floor.  The coop is up on posts 3 feet off the ground, so it is all one floor and the egg box extends out, with about a 2-3 inch lip to separate it from the coop.  Maybe I should hang curtains or something?

post #6 of 8
The hen thinks the nest is part of the floor. She is finding it hard to tell where she is supposed to lay her eggs.

Nests work best when they are elevated (off of the floor). Then the hen feels like she has found some privacy to do her job.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sawilliams View Post

Did you have eggs laid in the yard? You might just try re-training put some golf balls or something in the box so you don't have to move thier eggs you can just take them and leave (or move) the golf balls. It sounds to me is more likely confusion. Someone couldn't or didn't want to go back to the coop to lay so they started laying elsewhere.

As for free range and poop in the yard... I only let my girl free range 1-2 hoirs before dusk. Most have already laid ed for the day, they can forage with less damage to my yard and site there's still poop but we've been doing this over a month and it's never been enough to be bothersome. Mostly we only do the evening hours becuase I have a large dog that I have to kennel, and I don't want her stuck inside for a long time if she needs to potty

I'm unsure if they laid eggs in the yard.  There are evergreen trees all along the fence and I would not be surprised if there were eggs under there but I didn't check.  It's been so cold (which is why we let them out in the yard, because it was in the teens and the rest of the yard is sunnier than their coop area), so I didn't want to rummage around the yard for an hour :-(  I might try the golf balls.  Thanks!

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by enola View Post

The hen thinks the nest is part of the floor. She is finding it hard to tell where she is supposed to lay her eggs.

Nests work best when they are elevated (off of the floor). Then the hen feels like she has found some privacy to do her job.

They were all laying eggs in the egg box with no problems since September.  This only just started happening.  We would have to build a new coop to change the egg box, so maybe I will try curtains.

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