Added a second nest - didn't expect this!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by precipice, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. precipice

    precipice Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 7, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area

    I've had Lala, an Ameraucana, and Izzy, a Barred Rock, in a coop, laying eggs happily for about six months. They share one nest and seem fine with that.

    Over December, I took three new girls -- Peeps, an Australorp, Nono, a Red Star (though she's actually light yellow/white), and Squirrely, a Black Star -- from their brooder and put them in an adjoining coop. A week ago I took down a wall between their two runs and made one big run with a coop at each end. After a couple of days of total chaos, they settled down and now seem to get along fine.

    Yesterday, I added a second nest, thinking that five birds with only one nest might be too much. (The younger girls hadn't started laying yet, so this was all theory.) I expected, based on posts here, that they would all ignore the second nest and lay in the first nest, but it seemed kinder to give them the choice. [​IMG]

    Today, I got two surprises. First, one of the young girls (I think Nono, the Red Star) laid her first egg! Not in the nest, but it was her first try, so we'll see how it goes later this week. Second, Lala, one of the older girls, laid her egg (a blue/green egg -- hard to mistake for someone else's) in the *new* nest! (Izzy laid in the old nest.)

    Lala has definitely been the most aggressive about asserting herself over the younger girls in the pecking order. I was assuming that was because Izzy was the top of the pecking order, and Lala didn't want to lose her #2 spot. (I'm guessing when Peeps, the Australorp, realizes that she outweighs Lala by a couple of pounds, things might change, but so far, no.) The new nest is in the younger girls' coop -- is it possible Lala laid there as an act of dominance? Or am I overthinking it?

    Just curious.....thanks!
  2. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2008
    Carson City, NV
    No idea if she was sending a message or not and can't wait to hear a response.

    A few of my one month olds got thru a fence and into the part of the coop with the big girls today while I was cleaning and the big girls were not...kind. So I think it could be something as you suggest but hope an oldtimer will confirm/deny for you.

    Congrats on the blue/green egg!!![​IMG]

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