A watched hen never lays

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nugget, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    My September babies are laying now. The australorp has produced a total of 3 eggs. The first 2 were found with the air cap end cracked. I padded the nest boxes more thickly. Today I was in and out of the coop all day until I saw her settle in. I watched her for about a half hour-45 minutes as she panted, twisted 180's and shuffled her feet. I left, had a shower and when I returned she was on the perch and her egg was smashed to a pulp. I couldn't tell if it had been eaten or pecked. I didn't notice egg on her beak. She could have stepped on it I guess. I only have 2 and a half hens (one is a bantam) so I'd prefer to have the eggs for myself, not smashed in the nest boxes...

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I built the boxes to size outlined in all the books (14x12x12") and there are 3 boxes lined with wood chips. They are on layer ration. She is the lowest on the pecking order too. Are smashed eggs common? Would a hen learn by her 3rd egg to eat them?? Is there anything I can do?
  2. Hens are in the nest box for about an hour before lay. She sounds uncomfortable or inexperienced and so hopefully it will get better for her. If it continues to be a problem you might consider trying straw or hay bedding or building a roll away nest.
  3. JimnJanet

    JimnJanet Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    S.W Pa.
    I'm curious as to wether or not Nuggets girl may have gooten stressed from being watched while she was in the process of laying which resulted in her killing her egg in defense for it.?
  4. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I have always had the best luck with a thick layer of straw in the nest boxes. They can really burrow in there and seem the most comfortable.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: