egg boycott

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ther00ster'scr0w, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. ther00ster'scr0w

    ther00ster'scr0w Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Bay Area CA
    Ever since I let my chickens free range all day, they basically stopped laying eggs! I know that now that they have a larger range to roam they will hide there eggs-I have searched and watched but no one seems to have the time to lay now!

    Also...a couple of the hens decide to sleep in the nest boxes a few times a week, sometimes in a broody position and sometimes standing up, so over night their droppings are in the nest boxes, but during the day too I find they use their nest boxes as bathrooms. This may be a reason for not laying eggs...but I do clean it but maybe they have dirty views of it.

    Before they were free range, I would let them out on the weekends under my dogs' guard and mine, and I noticed that on the days they were out egg laying halted because they were too 'busy' out and about.

    If anyone has experience with this type of issue or can explain the sleeping/pooping in nest boxes and lack of motivation of laying please help!!

    Thanks!
     
  2. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Colorado
    Mine chickens haven't laid an egg since mid-October. Too dark and the molt, I think. I walk them past the Weber barbecue grill once and awhile, but they're not impressed. They free-range in a big yard so I don't think that's it.

    How old are your chickens? Are they coming back from a molt? This takes a lot of protein to grow new feathers and they're putting their energy into that. If so, you might increase their protein with some meat products. I use grass feed beef, red lentils (24%) and cat food. Others use canned salmon or tuna.

    In regards to the nest box as a bed: Is their roost higher than the nest box? Chickens want to roost on the highest thing available and if it's the nest box, they'll stay there. Is their roost comfortable? The flat side of a 2"x4" seems to be the most recommended. Chickens don't really "grip" like sparrows.

    Mary
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  3. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    I don't think they are "busy" I think they are better at hide and seek than you!

    ETA It takes 26 hours give or take to make an egg, they just kind of move through the system. They can't just get busy and get to it later. Especially not ALL of them. People try to do that with pooping all the time and it never works out!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  4. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    We found one of our 3 free ranging hens on a nest of 21 eggs. They're out there somewhere. You just have to find them.

    I am pretty sure that my hens are still hiding them out in the yard somewhere. I am temped to just keep them in the coop all day until I get home to start collecting them to do another hatch of chicks.
     
  5. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    they are playing hide and seek you are loosing [​IMG]
     
  6. new&learning

    new&learning Out Of The Brooder

    leave them cooped up on a rainy day and see if you get eggs???? i dont let mine out till about 4pm when most all the eggs are layed...might try that...best of luck
     
  7. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    May 18, 2009
    Brooksville
    Check the dog - our production went from 12 eggs a day to zero. We caught one of our dogs raiding the nesting boxes and had to dog-proof the coop. We since rehomed the dog. Now we are back up to 12 a day again.

    ETA - The dog did have a very shiny coat!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  8. ther00ster'scr0w

    ther00ster'scr0w Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Bay Area CA
    Thanks!

    the nest boxes are lower than the roosts, but they could be hiding them.

    Yesterday I kept them inside, but still no eggs. If I find one of the hens sleeping in the nest box, I will move her back.
     
  9. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2010
    My 2 hens sleep in the nest box so I start move them back on the roost. After about 5 nights, they are no longer sleep in the nest.
     

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