Chicken goes nuts before laying egg! Please help!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lukebrush, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. lukebrush

    lukebrush New Egg

    Oct 30, 2015
    I have an Americana hen and she's been laying for a month. Still, everyday before she lays she jumes over then fence and all over the neighborhood. They never gave me any troupe with that before. Once she lays then she calms down and no longer tries to get out. Is this something she will out grow??
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I am pretty sure she will grow out of it. Maybe the egg laying is frightening her - she will hopefully get used to it and calm down.
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Once she lays?... Meaning, "once she finds a spot she likes better than the coop and lays an egg", or " once you cart her back to the coop 20 times and force her to lay her egg?"

    The reason I asked like that is because a hen will search out and make her own new nest if she's feeling threatened or theres not enough space etc... In fact, my daughter, just today, caught one of our EEs laying under a spruce tree that I finally broke a BR out if using by building a second coop. :p

    It sounds like she wants her own nesting box somewhere besides the ones YOU WANT ;)
    2 people like this.
  4. MeepMeeps

    MeepMeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    I'm experiencing a similar behavior! My biggest black australorp Betty (~28 wks old) will squawk about and all around until she settles in to lay. She was laying very large eggs in the coop but would go in and out a lot. Just the other day we found out she was laying in a nest of leaves in the woods! There were 8 eggs! So today we watched her squawk about and locked her in the coop until she sat in a nesting box. She laid a huge egg. We anticipate doing this everyday hoping she will keep laying in the coop with the other 3 girls. My 6 chickens free range all day and luckily only Betty goes bonkers and has laid in the woods. I am still waiting for my GLW to lay though.
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Solid advice here.

    Hens lower on the pecking order often get pushed out of the nesting boxes by top hens...that leaves them to go find a nest they feel safe in. Apparently the Ameraucana feels she needs to find a different nesting site.

    Making sure you have enough nesting boxes, and creating one that is away from dominant places can alleviate the problem. I'd also put some bird netting up so she can't hop the fence. Getting her in the habit of going to a preferred nesting spot will reinforce that she needs to lay in your area rather than seeking on for herself...which can be stressful for the hen.

    1 person likes this.
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado

    Ah, yes! Thank you; I guess I could have elaborated a little into a solution huh? ;)

    I had to build a second coop because I had a BR that would sneak by me 20 times a morning to get under a Spruce tree behind the garage. She was absolutely insistent and go to any lengths to get to that tree! If I gave up and let her go, she lay in about 30 seconds and mosey back over with the gang all calm like nothing had happened. She was getting picked on, or she didn't like the nesting boxes, or something, I'm not sure. There were 24 hens sharing 8 boxes, though, so that might have been it. I left the camper door open a few times, and she started to lay in there, I made the camper into coop #2 ;)

    The EE I have found the tree, and the old nest looked cozy, I suppose, meaning she doesn't like the coop. She's doing the "run around like a chicken" thing, so I need to look at what's going on in there that's got her moving on me ;)

    Yep, X2 on @Lady of McCamley post; she's not trusting the boxes. Look at space, privacy, maybe a draft bothering her... And break her of it before she leads others to her secret spot, or you'll see your egg count drop all of a sudden, and then find 6 eggs under a spruce tree :D
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015

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