Might be a dumb question but I ask because a barnevelder of mine has recently gone broody. She's sitting in the nest that all the pullets seem to prefer. I'm going to start working on breaking her tomorrow. Earlier this evening I found my other barnevelder dead in the dust bathing area. She seemed perfectly fine this morning and I've been told being egg bound is the usual cause of death in otherwise healthy looking chickens. None of the others are showing any symptoms that anything is wrong but I also haven't found many eggs since the nest has been overtaken.
Will chickens lay elsewhere if the preferred nest is occupied?
I know that at least in my flock (of which is about 20 birds and approx 7 nest boxes) if their favorite one (and yes, ALL birds like ONE box Lol) is taken, they'll argue LOUDLY over it until the lesser on the pecking order leaves and waits. They just take turns in order. Though if a broody goes in there (it happened like just the other week too) then she usually gets pecked out of the box by any and all other birds. I dont know if its only my flock or just in general but as soon as our hens go broody they get forced to the bottom of the pecking order XD