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Almost had a heart attack when hen went missing - happy ending!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jewel1, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. jewel1

    jewel1 Chirping

    Jun 2, 2012
    So, my first flock of 4 chickens has recently hit laying age and three of the four have laid multiple eggs in their nest box over the past couple of weeks.

    I let my girls roam around my suburban backyard when I'm at home and check on them now and then. Yesterday, I suddenly noticed that Lucy, my barred rock, was missing from the flock. I called for her, went up and down my street and contacted neighbors with no luck...no Lucy sightings.

    Finally, I noticed one of my cats staring at a small area of our fence. When I got really close to the ivy-covered fence...I heard faint chicken noises. Turns out Lucy had decided to make herself an "outdoor" nest in a tiny space between the fence and a tree, under the ivy. (Whew!)

    I removed her from the area and locked her back in her run so she'd use the nest box (and she did)....but this morning she headed straight for the outside nest again...and so did my EE. Guess I'll have to start checking both sites for eggs from now on! [​IMG]

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Watch them closely. As soon as you find one nest site, they will select another.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    X2 Sourland's advice. Outside laying should be discouraged. From my experience it attracts rodents and before you know it you'll have a problem.
  4. jewel1

    jewel1 Chirping

    Jun 2, 2012
    Thanks for the advice...I'm definitely discouraging it. So far as I know...none of the girls have actually laid outside the run yet (and I've bene lookign everywhere I can think of). I know one of them always runs back into the hen house to lay...btu the otehr two seem like they prefer the great outdoors.

    I'll keep my eye on them and keep dragging them back to the hen house. [​IMG]
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    One technique is to keep them locked into the hen house until they've laid their egg for the day, and then let them out to play. MUCH easier than playing Find the Nest every day.
  6. Amanda15

    Amanda15 In the Brooder

    Jul 30, 2012
    New Jersey
    That's so cute :p

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