Broken egg EVERY morning!


8 Years
Sep 6, 2011
Hello, I am new to the forum and hope this is the right place to post my issue!
We have 2 hens (about 1 year old) and 5 chicks that are now 4 months old. We recently integrated them, doing all the necessary steps, keeping them in the coop with the older ones but in their own safe area, putting them all together in the yard etc. After about a month of them being around each other, we put them together in the coop. Things regarding pecking have been fine BUT every morning there is one broken egg. I have a theory that the early morning layer is laying her egg from the roost because she doesn't feel she can get to the nesting boxes because the other chickens are on the lower roost and in her way. This morning I went out there and there was a broken egg and everyone was still on the roost! The broken eggs have been directly under where she roosts. Is that possible that she would lay an egg from her roost?! And if so do you have any ideas of what we can do?! Thankfully, no one seems to be interested in eating the broken egg!
Thank you!!
(The layers are both rhoad island reds, we got them when they were 8 months. They have been laying consistently since we got them in the nesting boxes**)

**BEFORE the young chicks were roosting with the 2 other hens, they were always laying in the nesting box. The egg is breaking on the ledge in front of the nesting box. The floor of the hen house is padded with saw dust.
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Yea, it sounds like the egg urge is not registering with one of your hens. Hopefully, she will start to realise what it is and what she is supposed to do in time. The broken egg on the floor is a bigger problem. It is only a matter of time before one of the hen's tastes it and is instantly hooked on all of it's farm fresh tastiness! They love eggs as much as we do! That will be a bigger problem as egg eating is very hard to break. There are a few options. You could install poop boards with a thick layer of shavings just under the roosts (to break the egg's fall and to collect poop for easy cleaning.) You could come out early (before the egg is layed) and move the hen to the floor. That would let you clean up any egg that is broken before the hens get to it. Then there's always freezer camp, although I think the problem will work itself out as long as they don't start eating eggs.
OH and by the way, Chicken Behavior and Egglaying would be the place ot post this but don't worry, people will find it and the mods might even move it for you! Also, WELCOME! You have found the best place for chicken information and friends on the web. We're glad you're here!

Have you tried putting a fake egg or golf ball in the nest? It may be that she doesn't know where to lay it. Maybe that would help her figure out where the eggs go.
I am amazed that your other birds havent eaten the broken egg! Mine practically climb into my lap when I am collecting eggs just in case I drip one! I have been feeding raw eggs--well crushed--to my chickens for 20+ years and have not had any that will go in and actually break an egg to eat (at least not that I know of...) in all that time. Maybe egg breaking is an inherited thing?
I like the idea about the padded poop boards...using fake eggs in the nests may help too. Good luck! Terri O
Thank you all for the quick replies! I realized I did not explain that the hen was laying in the nesting box BEFORE the young chicks were roosting with the 2 hens! I edited my post to be clear in case there are any other thoughts about this! I will try moving her early in the morning to the nesting box. I was also thinking maybe I should put a light in the hen house to help her see her way to the nesting box? I know that before the chicks were there she would jump down to the lower roost and then into the nesting box so I'm guessing she doesn't know how to get down now. Thanks again!

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