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How to stop hens from hiding their eggs?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok...I'm at my wit's end!  I had a hen who would CONSTANTLY hide her eggs.  Once I would find her nest, she would hide them somewhere else.  I even tried leaving 1 egg in her nest in hopes that she would still lay there, but it didn't work.  Now it seems like 2 of my other hens are now hiding their eggs too.  I did sell the first hen I mentioned, hoping that the hiding would stop.  It hasn't.  (I still have yet to find her nest that probably has 15 eggs in it!)  I usually let my hens free range, but I've even tried keeping them penned up so they would lay in the coop.  But now they will fly over the pen to go hide their eggs!  I did trim the one hen's wing and I'm hoping this will help. 

I'm just really frustrated because I only have 1 hen that will lay in the coop on a daily basis....the rest hide them.  I have 3 acres of woods...so the chance of finding them is slim unless I catch them on their nest.  (Which I've also tried doing!)  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to break this egg-hiding habit?

Mom to three humans, 1 vertically challenged dog, 2 pygmys, and a mixed lot of 21 chickens.  I have pure Black Australorps and SLW eggs to sell...and will have buff Chanteclers in the fall!
Reply
Mom to three humans, 1 vertically challenged dog, 2 pygmys, and a mixed lot of 21 chickens.  I have pure Black Australorps and SLW eggs to sell...and will have buff Chanteclers in the fall!
Reply
post #2 of 6

For some reason, they obviously don't like the nest you have for them?    What is it made from, where is it and can you maybe make a new one in a slightly different location etc.?

Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
Reply
Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

They have nesting boxes in their coop that they have never laid in, so they've always made nests on the floor of the coop in the straw.  I've tried putting different containers like buckets, etc for them to lay in, but they aren't interested.  Any suggestions on what I could use?

Mom to three humans, 1 vertically challenged dog, 2 pygmys, and a mixed lot of 21 chickens.  I have pure Black Australorps and SLW eggs to sell...and will have buff Chanteclers in the fall!
Reply
Mom to three humans, 1 vertically challenged dog, 2 pygmys, and a mixed lot of 21 chickens.  I have pure Black Australorps and SLW eggs to sell...and will have buff Chanteclers in the fall!
Reply
post #4 of 6

Are the nests up off the ground level?   I would also try a couple golf balls instead of eggs.   That way they can be left there for a couple days.    I'm assuming you are dealing with the same heat as the rest of us, but I was going to suggest you keep them locked in the coop for a day to force them to use the nest.    Other than that I really don't have any suggestions.   Maybe someone else will chime in.

Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
Reply
Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
Reply
post #5 of 6

I just re read your post.   So the coop floor has straw on it?    Maybe you can switch to pine shavings and leave the straw for the nest only...

Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
Reply
Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
Reply
post #6 of 6

Sounds like you need to keep them penned, and with a roof over the pen, so they don't fly over. The birds won't like it at first, but what the heck, your the boss.smile

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