Australorp laying at night

onychophora

In the Brooder
Jun 23, 2021
7
10
21
Hello all,

I come to you again for advice on an issue that has me utterly stumped. I've got four young hens, all started laying within the last few months and all had excellent (eggsellent?) nest box manners.

Recently, one of them has decided to forgo the nest box entirely in favour of laying while on the roost at night. I've tried getting up before the sun and with the sun thinking that maybe she was laying very early in the morning- and just not using the nest box in their coop but this is not the case.

It's not a big issue for me because they're pets first and foremost, but I'm a little tired of cleaning up the broken eggs and don't want to inadvertently create an egg eater.

Currently I've tried to solve the problem partly by raising their poo board and putting boxes of shavings under the area they roost to provide a soft landing for eggs. The success rate of this is variable.

The eggs themselves are perfectly formed with a nice thick shell.

Does anyone have any advice for what I can do here, or is it just wonky end of winter hormones messing with her that will settle down?

Thanks so much in advance and apologies for the novella.
 

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
4,385
9,362
486
Rim Country, Az
Hmm, maybe this Pullet hasn't quite figured out that the urge means she needs to find the next box. Or how many boxes do you have? Sometimes low ranked hens don't get timely access to the box since they're always waiting so they don't lay during the normal hours.
 

Tclloyd0812

Songster
Mar 13, 2021
582
1,897
231
Ozark Mountain Foothills of Arkansas
I wonder if locking her in a nesting box or smaller area at night would help temporarily fix the issue so she learns not to lay while on a roost. I had this problem a few years ago with my first flock and we took the hen (once we figured out who the culprit was) and put her in a kennel at night for 3 nights. She layed her eggs in the kennel, and after letting her out, we kept the kennel in the coop under the nesting boxes for a while so she'd always go back to it. Then eventually we took the kennel out completely and she started laying on the floor under the boxes. She also became a regular day layer, meaning she didn't lay at night anymore. I think it took a while after that, but she became used to the nest boxes. We watched her behavior and any time she was about to lay (scratching the ground, getting nested in material), we would pick her up and put her in the boxes. After 3 to 4 days, she layed her eggs in the nesting boxes.
 

onychophora

In the Brooder
Jun 23, 2021
7
10
21
Hmm, maybe this Pullet hasn't quite figured out that the urge means she needs to find the next box. Or how many boxes do you have? Sometimes low ranked hens don't get timely access to the box since they're always waiting so they don't lay during the normal hours.
I've got two boxes for the four of them, in different locations. She's also the top girl so I'm confused as to why she's doing this
 

onychophora

In the Brooder
Jun 23, 2021
7
10
21
I wonder if locking her in a nesting box or smaller area at night would help temporarily fix the issue so she learns not to lay while on a roost. I had this problem a few years ago with my first flock and we took the hen (once we figured out who the culprit was) and put her in a kennel at night for 3 nights. She layed her eggs in the kennel, and after letting her out, we kept the kennel in the coop under the nesting boxes for a while so she'd always go back to it. Then eventually we took the kennel out completely and she started laying on the floor under the boxes. She also became a regular day layer, meaning she didn't lay at night anymore. I think it took a while after that, but she became used to the nest boxes. We watched her behavior and any time she was about to lay (scratching the ground, getting nested in material), we would pick her up and put her in the boxes. After 3 to 4 days, she layed her eggs in the nesting boxes.
I did think about doing this but was also concerned about stressing her when she couldn't get to the roost with her flock mates. I have an old dog kennel though that I could use so it might be worth a try if needed. Thanks!
 

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