Chicken had a hidden nest... what do I do??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommy4cdjm, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. mommy4cdjm

    mommy4cdjm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2009
    My chicken Mary has been laying her eggs in the ivy and we didn't know this. I knew she liked to sit there a lot but because the way the ivy grows up the fence I never saw the eggs. So today she ran in there instead of eating so I followed her and pulled back the ivy and found a nest full of eggs. :S
    they are all in one piece and she must have been sitting on them there for a while because there are 17 eggs!!!
    I have no clue what to do. I took them all out and washed them off. Should I put them in the coop and let her sit or just throw them away?
    :S :S :S
     
  2. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    If you want more birds, you can let her sit. You could also test the eggs. If they float in water, they are old & should be discarded.

    Myself, I would cook them and feed them to my dog and chickens.
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, WA
    Quote:What breed is she? Just because she hid her nest does not mean that she'll hatch out the eggs. With some breeds it's likely that she wants to hatch out a clutch others it's not. In any case even a broody hen might abandon the nest if you move it. I usually float test eggs I find in hidden nests and as long as they don't hang suspended or float to the surface (rotten [​IMG] ) I cook them up and feed them back to the chickens or to the dogs.
     
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Woodville, MS
    You didn't mention if you have a roo. Al of our birds freerange and I find hidden nests all the time. Because I don't want to risk eating the eggs, I take them all and put them in incubator. They almost all hatch and I know some must be really old because, like your hen, there will be 25 eggs laid by the same hen so I know at least 2-3 weeks worth of laying.

    As was posted, laying in a hidden nest doesn't mean she will set them. Most likely not if she's laid that many. All my broodies start setting if there's even one egg.

    I have had some success with washed eggs incubating but more will go bad in the process than if they had remained unwashed. So you can still try and incubate them if you want. If not, I would boil them, mash them whole (shell and all) and feed them to the chickens. That's what I do with dozens of eggs once a month. It's really good for them.
     
  5. louloubean

    louloubean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OC, NY
    after you decide what to do with the eggs, you can lock up mary and her merry band of hens in the coop with the nest boxes ntil they get the idea!

    mine figured it out quick with golf balls in the nest boxes.
     
  6. mommy4cdjm

    mommy4cdjm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2009
    Thanks everyone. I am fairly new to this and these are our first eggs so I am clueless. lol
    ok so none floated so I am cooking them now for the chickens and dog. [​IMG]

    ok so now I need to get her to lay in the nest boxes!!!

    btw
    yes we do have a rooster and she is a red sex link
     
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, WA
    Quote:Put some fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes and lock her in the coop/run area for a few days. Hopefully she'll get the idea. Since she's a sex link it's very unlikey that she'll set any eggs for you. I've heard of it happening, but it's very rare. Sex links are bred for production and don't have the broody instinct anymore.
     
  8. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Try putting fake eggs or golf balls in the approved nests. Or maybe your nests don't seem safe enough for the hens. Yo may need to install a curtain over the front. But you may end up just adding the ivy to your list of places to check for eggs.
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    All of my chickens know full well where the nest boxes are that they are supposed to use, they just like going off and finding a nice quiet spot of their own. Once I discover a hidden nest, I take all the eggs out and replace them with one or two fresh ones from the coop. Then each day take the eggs, always leaving at least one. That way they keep laying in the same "hidden" nest and don't go running off to find some new place to hide them.

    I think the hidden nests are kind of fun and its a fun way for the kids that visit to go on their own easter egg hunt. Heck, I had my whole family here a couple of weeks ago and my grown brother and his grown married kids wanted baskets so they could go gather eggs.

    It's fun to say "check behind the barn" and "see that old tire over there?" and "there might be some eggs under the lawnmower". [​IMG]
     
  10. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    An that's how the Easter egg hunt started. "Big dinner today hun, send the kids out an see if they can find where those darn hens are layin." [​IMG]

    Every time I find a new nest I collect the eggs an replace them with 2 or 3 golf balls an just add that to my list of places to look each day for eggs.
     

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