ADVICE NEEDED! One of my hens suddenly refuses to lay in nest box!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sandykopandy, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy In the Brooder

    78
    2
    41
    May 22, 2011
    I have three hens. Recently there have been pecking order issues where my BR is picked on by her EE and PR flockmates. She has been pushed to the bottom of the hierarchy. For the past four days, she does not lay in the nest box. Instead she waits until I let them out and she makes a beeline to get underneath an old children's slide where she has dug herself a nest, and there she sits and lays. It is so pathetic because on days that I work, she has had to wait until evening and she appears desperate, jumping up and down until I can let them out and then sprinting to her spot. My guess is that she doesn't feel safe in the nest box as a result of the bullying and none of this would matter that much if I could always guarantee that I would be here, but I cannot. It is not safe for them to be outside of the run without supervision. How can I encourage her to lay in the nest box again?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    40,338
    3,204
    596
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Don't let her out to lay under the slide. Force her to stay in for a few days and she should go back to laying in the nest box.
     
  3. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy In the Brooder

    78
    2
    41
    May 22, 2011
    Thanks for your advice which I'm just seeing now. I was out of town for a few days and my kids were caring for the girls. The first day they didn't let her out in time and she laid in the nest box. The next two days they let her out and she laid under the slide. This morning apparently she was under there for nearly three hours and finally my son picked her up and put her in the run so that he could stop watching her. (He may have been exaggerating.) When he put her in the run, she immediately dropped an egg (not in the nest box but on the floor of the run.) Now that I'm home, I'm going to be strict about her laying in the coop which just means that I'm going to force myself to either not look out the window or to leave the house! Thanks for your help.
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    20,703
    6,116
    627
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Do you only have one box? Adding another place to lay may help.
     
  5. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy In the Brooder

    78
    2
    41
    May 22, 2011
    An update: I took the advice of not letting her lay under the slide and now everyone seems happier. She is laying in the nest box regularly and for whatever reason, they aren't picking on her. Perhaps the pecking order has finally been settled. PHEW! Thanks for the help.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: