Easter Egg Hunts in September?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by savingdogs, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I've been free-ranging the chickens a lot because.....well, because of the time of year that it is, we have lots of vegetation and need to keep our feed expenses down. They return to the coop nicely at night and everything is hunkey dorey, right? WRONG! I have a mixed flock, with some older hens and some new birds I got this year which are just getting old enough to start laying.

    Well, now the Speckled Sussex and Easter Egger pullets are laying.....and I've found their eggs everywhere! Places I didn't even know they could reach. The EEs can fly really well, but they seem to think hiding the eggs is the idea. One just seems to be dropping them where she lays. I'm finding little nests of eggs where they have carefully gone back and layed their eggs each day. It is a little bit funny because they almost look like easter egg baskets of eggs sitting around.

    Do I need to coop them up while they learn nest box etiquette?

    What if they can FLY? I have a very large run, a bit too large to cover the whole thing and keep them inside. Even my older hens for some reason are not enjoying laying in the coop anymore, and have started laying their eggs in my duck coop.

    I guess I need to learn the ways to make laying in the coop enticing......
     
  2. Tiss

    Tiss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would coop them up for a few mornings until they get the drill. Most of mine lay by 1 or 2pm. Maybe lock the culprits up until they've laid and let them out in the afternoon. After a few days, they should get the point.
     
  3. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can also clip the flight feathers on one wing to keep them from flying but they will be an easier target for stray dogs. [​IMG]
     
  4. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I did that with my first Easter Eggers (my other chickens can't fly) and they could still fly out. But you are right, I did lose one of them to a stray that comes by here. I think the idea of keeping them locked up until they lay sounds like a good solution. Or I could let them just go in the chicken pen where there is only one "nice" place to lay, in their nest boxes. Maybe I should figure out what time mine are laying, but it does seem like they finish by noon.

    Maybe I should just keep them all locked up in there until they get the hang of where to lay again?
     
  5. Hinotori

    Hinotori Silver Feathers Premium Member

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    I had to change to different nest boxes so help stop the hunts. They really like my new ones. Unfortunately, I have three birds thining about playing broody that sit in the prefered nest in turns or together. They upset another who found a nice hiding spot that took me three days to find. She's my only pinkish layer and lays every day so it was noticable.
     
  6. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could try getting a few 5 gallon buckets and lay them on their sides and pick a nice spot in the run to put them. I would drill a hole in the edge on each side and zip tie them together so they don't roll around. This may encourage them to lay in one area of the run instead of all over the place.
     
  7. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    there is thread here somewhere about a chicken that was flying into a tree and laying eggs in squirrel's nest!
     
  8. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well they are still locked up this morning. I'm a deaf person so I don't know what-all sounds are goin' on in there! I'm gonna take a peek in a few. I'm sure the roosters are happy the girls are trapped. LOL

    My chickens used to like these nest boxes, but I had a duck living with them and she went broody and took over one side of the coop. She is moved out of there now, but I think she is the reason they think they should not lay in there. She isn't even within sight anymore.
     
  9. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Thats funny!
     
  10. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I went out and checked and NO eggs. They are crossing their legs.
     

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