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Will chickens lay elsewhere if the preferred nest is occupied?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

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. 

post #2 of 4

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

A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
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A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
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post #3 of 4

Mine ignore the broody one and just get in the nest box with her, if they have to they will sit right on her and lay their egg.

 

I have to do frisks on my broody hen to find the eggs that fell between her wings.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Most of mine lay underneath the nesting boxes. The wyandottes will lay in the center one if its taken. Ive taken the eggs from the broody and put more pine shavings in the boxes in order to make them more appealing. It worked a bit yesterday. A pullet randomly dying after one has gone broody makes me nervous. Cause and effect type thing. There are plenty of spots to lay though.
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Will chickens lay elsewhere if the preferred nest is occupied?