$%&# chicken laying in the mud

Uzuri

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,299
13
171
I've got one idiot who finally started laying consistently at 9 months old -- consistently outside the coop, that is :p This being March in Ohio, that means her eggs are absolutely filthy.

So what do I do to stop this? She's the only one that hasn't caught on to the nest box and I'm worried that the others are going to pick up this habit. If she'd done it once I wouldn't worry, but she's done it three times now, laying the egg in the same spot each time. Clearly she likes that spot.

Here's the trouble, I think I'm already doing just about everything you're supposed to do to get them to lay in the box. The box is dark, it contains golf balls (and this morning, should have contained one other egg, since Bossy was due to lay at 8:00), it's far from the door and other "public" areas, and the others all get in there and sing.

Her "spot" is neither private nor dark. It is "under" something, but that's "under" is fairly open and really high traffic. I'm thinking of putting the water dish there tomorrow so she CAN'T lay there (unless she thinks she's a duck).

Is there anything I'm missing?
 

Uzuri

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,299
13
171
That's a thought. Man, I'd hoped I'd get around that though -- they just all came out for the first time in 3 weeks Saturday. Stupid snow.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,739
14,080
906
Glen St Mary, Florida
Yes,I agree with egg_newton also,lockdown seems to be the answer. I understand your frustration. You know what burns me up worse? After it rains they'll head to the dirtiest/nastiest mudpuddle/mudhole and drink from it. It's not like I dont have any fresh clean water for them. I've got 6 two gallon containers filled with freshwater that I clean and change out every 2 days,sometimes every day depending on the weather.aarrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!! Thank you for this post, mine will be in lockdown the next time it rains. Their coop is covered and there's no mudpuddles.
 

Uzuri

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,299
13
171
Oh tell me about it -- and if they can't find a mudpuddle, they make one out of the waterer. I think they just like the taste of dirt :p
 

Gypsy07

Songster
9 Years
Feb 4, 2010
2,286
63
193
Glasgow, Scotland
If she persists, you could always try a compromise and build an outdoor nesting box and put it in her preferred spot for laying.
She can still lay where she wants and you get clean eggs. And it would avoid lockdown...
 

Bantimna

Songster
10 Years
Sep 29, 2009
5,089
25
241
South Africa
Uzuri, Do you have a rooster in your yard?
I've seen some people who have had hens doing this but in the mean time she was hiding a nest or on the way to broodiness.
Why I ask doyou have a rooster in your yard is because she might hatch a few, chickies?
 

Mom 2em All

Crowing
12 Years
Apr 20, 2008
4,032
576
336
Dora, Alabama
I have one bossy hen who likes to make the nest very elaborate before she lays an egg- she rearranges the straw so that it is a perfect bowl. She is the TOP chicken in my coop, and nobody will go near her when she is in the nest. Well, she uses it to her advantage- sometimes she will go in just to fix the straw just perfect, sometimes to consider laying an egg, or sometimes to actually lay one. I think she may go in there also, just so another hen can't use the box.
If she happens to be inside the nest when one of the others have to lay an egg, the poor 'other' hen will run around willy-nilly very much like a little kid who HAS to go potty, but must wait until someone gets out of the bathroom.
Many times they find another spot- usually somewhere really dumb, like in the unsheltered, unoccupied, empty rabbit hutch. And a few times, it was like they couldnt 'hold' it anymore and laid it right in the mud in the middle of the run.
Whenever I have looked out the window and seen an egg in the center of the yard, I go out and look in the nest box- yep, there is Bossy Hen. I have had other nest boxes, but they do not want to use them. Just the one spot.

smack.gif
 

Uzuri

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,299
13
171
Quote:
Yes I do, actually. I'll have to keep an eye on her for signs of broodiness -- though if this particular idea of hers is "hiding" I'd hate to see "out in the open" XD

Part of me wonders if this isn't a function of her being on the bottom of the pecking order, something I only just observed Tuesday. Bossy was trying to take this one's head off over the feeder; so was the other Java. Like maybe she's actually getting chased out of the coop and doesn't have much choice. If that's the case, I'm probably going to have to go with a small, easily moved nest box as Gypsy suggests and try to get her laying in there. Maybe with time I could shift the box slowly toward the coop door and even get her inside.
 

SandyK

Songster
Jul 8, 2009
400
92
206
Eldersburg, Maryland
I had a Cochin doing that when she first started laying. Pretty soon she caught on though. Now hers are right with the others. Talk about some dirty eggs. All our snow is melting making for a mess in their run. With three Cochins laying regularly, I have some dirty eggs too.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom