Black Star won't use nest box -- "lays" eggs from the perch

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ninakat53, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. ninakat53

    ninakat53 Out Of The Brooder

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    She just started laying a couple of weeks ago, and each and every time she goes into the coop, gets up on the perch (a couple feet off the floor) and "lays" her eggs from there. I have enough wood shavings below so they don't crack, but still, isn't this odd?

    And, just about every one of her eggs (about 7 so far) have been "laid" while I'm down there -- as if she's waiting for me to arrive. Usually about 1 PM. Twice I've put my hand under her to catch the egg when it falls -- and she doesn't mind at all. "What a good girl!" [​IMG]

    She's very vocal too -- but not during or after laying -- just leading up to it.

    I have two nesting boxes, one inside the coop at floor level, the other outside -- both have a wooden egg in view, off to the side, as a hint. But she hasn't ever been in the boxes and just prefers dropping them from the perch.

    Anybody else had this experience?

    Fortunately, none of the chickens have pecked at the egg on the floor of the coop -- they just seem to ignore it.

    There are two more hens about the same age who haven't started laying yet -- an Australorp and an Ameracauna. Any day now (hopefully)! It'll be interesting to see where they decide to lay their eggs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I have not had any that seem to prefer laying from the perch, though I've had them lay on the floor. I'd suggest when she is looking like she is ready to lay, you lock her into a nest box until she lays. It usually takes about a half hour for mine, though one took a lot longer. When they lay, I let them out. I've managed to retrain mine by doing this one or two times. I've never had to lock a hen in the nest box a third time.

    Good luck!
     
  3. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    does she see the others lay in the box? you might try getting one of her eggs, put it in the box and lock her in the coop- or a small crate to force her to lay in the box without a roost nearby- i have one that insists on laying in the run rather than the box- another prefers the feed bin...[​IMG]
     
  4. ninakat53

    ninakat53 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2009
    ^^^ thanks to you both -- I'm going to try the lock-her-in-the-nest idea -- seems like a great way to train her, and I'll be able to time it well since she seems to wait until I'm present. No other hens are laying yet, so she doesn't have any roll models! [​IMG]
     
  5. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    i had a thought- get an egg or golfball will work put it in the nestbox with her- i have read here that it is instinctive for them to lay if they see another egg
     
  6. LauraG

    LauraG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 of mine just started laying and both laid their first eggs on the roost.

    What I did was take each hen and placed her in the nest box that had 2 golf balls. I allowed her to jump out. I calmly put her back in. She jumped out again.

    Again I placed her in the nest box and tapped the golf balls so she noticed them. Well she did, then she started showing an interest in checking it out. Then she kinda pecked around at the straw, turned around a couple times, pecked the golf balls again & hung out in there all her own. Jumped out after about 10-15 mins. She had already laid for the day so I wasnt expecting an egg BUT.........

    Next day, voila, eggs in the nest box. [​IMG]

    This worked for all of my newly laying hens.

    I did this while it was quiet and just me and the young hen in the coop so she wasnt distracted by all the other girls and felt calm and comfortable. Never force a hen to stay in the nest box if she is anxious. You dont want it to be a scary place or experience. You may have to let her jump out 10 times before she shows an interest. I believe just stay patient and she will get it.

    I try to nip it in the bud before she gets into a routine of laying on a roost or other undesireable area if possible..

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  7. ninakat53

    ninakat53 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks LauraG -- that sounds like a great approach. I was worried about her feeling trapped and having this approach actually backfiring, and your method of taking it slowly and repeating the process sounds like it should be a lot less threatening. I do have a fake wooden egg in each of my two nesting boxes, off to the side, so maybe they'll help too. It's probably just a matter of getting her familiar with the box. I should have done this early on -- it has been about 2 weeks since she started laying eggs (about 8 so far), so hopefully it's not too late to train her. I'll certainly try, starting tomorrow. And my other two girls should be starting to lay any day now, so I'll try the same method with them. Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  8. cowhoss

    cowhoss Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a black star that does the same thing!
     
  9. LauraG

    LauraG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You are welcome and good luck! Let us know how it turns out!
     

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