Coop and nesting

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by luvthehens15, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. luvthehens15

    luvthehens15 Hatching

    Mar 3, 2015
    Howdy all! Newbie here. We started with chickens this last fall when my kids joined 4H. We were just gonna get a few so the kids can learn them for next year and the fair. Well 3 coops later we have 12 chickens and 2 pullets(those are the younger ones right?)

    So to make a long story short we built a large coop last to put all the big girls in. We were getting about six eggs a day once we move them all in and everything is great. Then we started getting less and less eggs and finally I caught one of my leghorns eating an egg. So we wanted to confirm and make sure that that's what was really happening so we tested her out and sadly that is exactly what happened. So we put her into a different coop by herself and changed her diet. The last two days she has laid her own egg and has not eaten it, yay. Meanwhile in the big coop we get maybe one egg a day out of all 11 hens that are in there. We don't believe there is another egg eater so my question is this, do chickens prefer privacy to lay their eggs? The reason I ask is because with the way that we design their nests it isn't fully enclosed as in the sides are opened and the nests themselves do not have a tall wall between each other.


    Any help would be great.
  2. kaylabeans28

    kaylabeans28 Chirping

    Feb 25, 2015
    Woodstock, IL
    Okay, first of all you need to consider their diet, climate, and breeds. Sometimes you may also have to consider their age, because the older they get, the less eggs you'll receive from them. I'm in 4H too, and I have tons of birds that I show at fair. A chicken who eats eggs is usually a habit that may not be reversed. Most people will get rid of egg eaters and just replace them, or you could gather the eggs early or at several different times a day. Some will lay early, and some may lay in the afternoon. Usually a hen's egg production slows in the winter months due to insufficient amount of light. If you search winter months lighting in the coop, there will be tons of suggestions on how much light you may need in your coop. It doesn't need to be a heat lamp, more so just a lighter wattage light bulb that mimics daylight, and the longer lit spring-summer months. Enjoy your chickens, your kids will learn so much and enjoy them dearly!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chirping

    Sep 11, 2014
    Yes, chickens like privacy. I would put up partitions. All my girls were laying in the same nest box, resulting in some broken eggs. Once I put up a full wall between the boxes (it was only half before) they started using all the boxes.

    How old are your birds? Age could be a factor in them not laying. Also removing the egg eater switched up the pecking order, which could cause a temporary drop in production.
  4. luvthehens15

    luvthehens15 Hatching

    Mar 3, 2015
    Thanks for the help.
    We are gonna add the full dividers this weekend.
    All the girls are between under 2 years I believe.
    Thanks for the help!
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I really like my big and roomy nests... and I think that the chickens do too.

    I have super wide nest boxes... 1.5 feet wide for my bantams, and the big chickens have one 2.5 feet wide.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do they free range?
    They may be laying out in their range area.

    How long since you moved them to the new coop?
    They don't like change, it stresses them out and that cause a drop in production.

    You might want to keep them confined to the coop for 2-3 days 24/7 to home them to the new coop and establish the new place to lay.

    I like a pretty roomy nest (14x14x16) with a smaller opening (10) for coziness.

  7. luvthehens15

    luvthehens15 Hatching

    Mar 3, 2015
    They only free range a few hours a day. I am nervous about Hawks since there are many in my area.

    The eggs are actually coming along the last few days

    I still don't know what to do about the egg eater. She seems fine now but I have read once an egg eater always an egg eater. So we will see

    Thanks all
  8. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Crowing

    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    I'd say the drop in production was from the move. They plain and simple are NOT going to be happy with a change. As for the egg eater, have you considered fixing your nests so that the egg will roll to the front or back, under some type of barrier that would protect them from being pecked and eaten? there are tons of threads here on this topic, and some downright ingenius designs!

    good luck!

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