Chickens laying eggs but....


Sep 19, 2017
Star, Idaho
....they lay a few eggs at a time, but walk away and don't continue sitting on them.

They lay them in our small goat barn, then walk away. Some are layed in the nesting boxes, which are inside the coop, but off of the floor, nailed into the wall of the coop. We have 3 of them.

Wondering if they need more privacy for laying/hatching chicks? They free range around our property, but not exactly sure how I feel about them hatching chicks outside under one of our bushes/shrubbery.
They will not spend time sitting on the eggs until they go broody. Otherwise, they just lay em and forget em.

Privacy makes no difference to a broody hen. You can tell because they get severe PMS and will bite your hand off if you reach for them...or flatten like a pancake and growl a you when broody.
Some hens go their entire lives without ever going to a single broody cycle, and others seem to spend their entire lives in a perpetual state of broodiness. What breed or breeds are the hands that you have? While it varies from individual bird to bird generally some breeds are more prone to broodiness than others. Birds bred for production purposes such as those coming out of hatchery stock are bred to lay lots of eggs as and to do so often. Being broody interrupts production because a hen will not lay while she is brooding eggs or raising chicks. For this reason production bred birds are bred to not have broody tendencies.
If hatching is your goal you may find yourself better suited to either invest in an incubator so that you can incubate the eggs at will or consider purchasing a couple hands of a very broody breed in the hopes that they will cooperate and brood for you.
Oh, Ok. They are all Barred Rock / Plymouth Rock hens. I have a Red Ranger rooster that is currently making his rounds with each hen! I had one hen hatch 2 chicks back in November, but the chicks didn't survive long.

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