Dirty eggs and laying trough

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Layers, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Layers

    Layers New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    I didn't want to hijack another person's thread on this topic so I'm starting a new one. I have 15 Isa brown laying hens - no roosters.

    I have a nesting "trough" that is 8 feet long and 12 inches wide. I did not separate the trough into separate laying boxes, it is just one long 12 inch trough. At the very end of the trough there is one "box" that is formed by virtue of it being on the end. The chickens lay all of their eggs in that one spot! They are always dirty when I gather them in the afternoon. I have two questions about this:

    1. First, are the dirty eggs unsafe to eat!? I wash them with plain water, and sometimes have to scratch off surface poop and dirt, straw and such. They always finish up clean and beautiful.

    2. If I were to insert separators in the trough to form eight 12 inch separate boxes, would they distribute their laying in these boxes instead of all in the one box? I'm thinking that If they laid in several of the separate boxes, then maybe they wouldn't be so dirty.

    Thanks.

    PS. on a different note, I get 14 eggs per day from 15 chickens. One of the eggs is always HUGE! Do you think one of the hens is doubling up, the reason I never get 15 eggs?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Do your birds roost in the trough? Make sure the roosting bars are higher than the nest box, and away form it. You probably need a top over the nest box, slanted from the back wall to the front, so they can't sit on it. Make it steep enough! Also, what's the bedding in the trough? You could try some dividers too. Mary
     
  3. Layers

    Layers New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    Great reply, thank you. I really don't know if they roost in the trough, they're never roosting when I see them. I think they probably do because I don't have any other roosting bars in the coop. I have straw in the trough. The top over the nest boxes is a great idea - I hadn't thought of that.

    I'll follow your suggestions and also put in some dividers.

    Thanks so much and I'll let you know the results.
     

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