Feeling for eggs

Newfarmer36

Songster
Dec 31, 2017
649
530
186
West Monroe, Louisiana
I've read where you can feel around the vent of a hen and feel an egg inside but I've also read that you cant.. What's y'alls opinions? My hens are being bad and laying eggs all over the yard. I can't find most of them. I have them in the coop this morning until all eggs are laid. I have 5 so far. I want to let the chickens out who have laid already but I don't know which ones have and which ones haven't .
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,971
832
California's Redwood Coast
I've read where you can feel around the vent of a hen and feel an egg inside but I've also read that you cant.. What's y'alls opinions? My hens are being bad and laying eggs all over the yard. I can't find most of them. I have them in the coop this morning until all eggs are laid. I have 5 so far. I want to let the chickens out who have laid already but I don't know which ones have and which ones haven't .

Sometimes when retraining to lay in the right spot... It may take a couple whole of days of confinement. Otherwise I would wait until 3 or 4 pm. I always wait until at least 4 to take out snack for the flock so those in lay boxes don't get snubbed. Other wise if I know who already aid I might catch them and put them out. How many are you still waiting on?

Leaving fake eggs in the nest has made a HUGE difference for my gals that would go out of their way to lay somewhere different when they thought the nest was being raided daily. And boy does it get old searching blackberry bushes for hidden nests. One was even 20 feet up a redwood stump!

If I have a girl who absolutely won't get with the program... she get's rehomed to someone who doesn't mind searching for nest or someone who confines their birds.... It's almost always my Easter Eggers! :barnie

I don't know why you would try to feel for an egg on a hen that isn't egg bound. My guess is no you can't feel it. :confused: Also, not all girls lay everyday. So today might be the day off for some... breed can give you a clue as what to expect.

To me even though confinement might be "bad" in our thoughts.. Ultimately it is for their own health and protection sometimes and while I (or they) may not like it... I sure don't feel guilty.

When I can't find a nest... I watch behavior. I'm fortunate enough to have my days available, though I know it won't be an option for many. Sometimes the cackling can give you a clue to when they are getting ready to go to their spot. Sometimes the girls that are lined up waiting for that lovely spot will cackle to hurry along the current layer occupying the nest. "Raiding" these nests and destroying them *should* instinctively encourage the girls to lay in a "safe" place.

Hope this helps some. Good luck! :fl
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,889
33,204
1,092
On the MN prairie.
If your coop/run is big enough for them to be confined for a few days, I would do it. It can take a few days for them to reset and start laying in the nest boxes. EggSighted is right - fake eggs in the nest box are a great help in showing them where you want them to lay. Another thing I do, is let them out later than ususal and then watch them. The ones that aren't laying in the coop should be pacing at the door. When you let them out, they will make a beeline for their hidden nests. When I have had chickens do this, they wouldn't go straight to their nests. So I learned to hang back and watch them. If you don't follow obviously or too close, they'll lead you right to their nest.
 

Newfarmer36

Songster
Dec 31, 2017
649
530
186
West Monroe, Louisiana
Sometimes when retraining to lay in the right spot... It may take a couple whole of days of confinement. Otherwise I would wait until 3 or 4 pm. I always wait until at least 4 to take out snack for the flock so those in lay boxes don't get snubbed. Other wise if I know who already aid I might catch them and put them out. How many are you still waiting on?

Leaving fake eggs in the nest has made a HUGE difference for my gals that would go out of their way to lay somewhere different when they thought the nest was being raided daily. And boy does it get old searching blackberry bushes for hidden nests. One was even 20 feet up a redwood stump!

If I have a girl who absolutely won't get with the program... she get's rehomed to someone who doesn't mind searching for nest or someone who confines their birds.... It's almost always my Easter Eggers! :barnie

I don't know why you would try to feel for an egg on a hen that isn't egg bound. My guess is no you can't feel it. :confused: Also, not all girls lay everyday. So today might be the day off for some... breed can give you a clue as what to expect.

To me even though confinement might be "bad" in our thoughts.. Ultimately it is for their own health and protection sometimes and while I (or they) may not like it... I sure don't feel guilty.

When I can't find a nest... I watch behavior. I'm fortunate enough to have my days available, though I know it won't be an option for many. Sometimes the cackling can give you a clue to when they are getting ready to go to their spot. Sometimes the girls that are lined up waiting for that lovely spot will cackle to hurry along the current layer occupying the nest. "Raiding" these nests and destroying them *should* instinctively encourage the girls to lay in a "safe" place.

Hope this helps some. Good luck! :fl
When they're locked up all day(during the week days) I get 8 or 9 eggs a day. It's on the weekends that my egg production goes down bc I let them out early. I tried the fake eggs. They just kick them out of the nests. I live in the country and the back side of my property is mostly wooded. I've found 2 nests. I got the eggs and then they stopped laying in those spots. I've walked and searched this entire property several times a day this week and can't find anything. I have a TON of BlackBerry bushes that I'm going to have to go through!!:rant none of my property is flat. It's all hills. *sigh* so I've been getting quite the workout.
 

Newfarmer36

Songster
Dec 31, 2017
649
530
186
West Monroe, Louisiana
If your coop/run is big enough for them to be confined for a few days, I would do it. It can take a few days for them to reset and start laying in the nest boxes. EggSighted is right - fake eggs in the nest box are a great help in showing them where you want them to lay. Another thing I do, is let them out later than ususal and then watch them. The ones that aren't laying in the coop should be pacing at the door. When you let them out, they will make a beeline for their hidden nests. When I have had chickens do this, they wouldn't go straight to their nests. So I learned to hang back and watch them. If you don't follow obviously or too close, they'll lead you right to their nest.
They kick the fake eggs out of the nests. Lol
 

Bonniebooboo

Crowing
May 27, 2017
501
880
332
Kansas
My few sneaky Easter Eggers started laying in the barn this week after being good and laying in the coop all winter. 1 does it and now 5 are laying in the barn as of 2 days ago, so I locked them all up for most of the day yesterday and got more eggs in the coop, locked up today, but hubby thinks I am mean and he let them out an hour ago. :( I'll be hunting this evening. I admit they do look so happy out there running around. He says they have sad eyes when I leave them locked up til late. :lau
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,889
33,204
1,092
On the MN prairie.
My few sneaky Easter Eggers started laying in the barn this week after being good and laying in the coop all winter. 1 does it and now 5 are laying in the barn as of 2 days ago, so I locked them all up for most of the day yesterday and got more eggs in the coop, locked up today, but hubby thinks I am mean and he let them out an hour ago. :( I'll be hunting this evening. I admit they do look so happy out there running around. He says they have sad eyes when I leave them locked up til late. :lau
I'd make hubby go on the egg hunt if he insists on letting them out... "Honey, will you make me some eggs for breakfast?" "Sorry, Sweetheart, I have been unable to find them since I can't keep them up long enough to teach them to lay in the nest boxes. If you want eggs for breakfast, you need to go find them." ;)
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,971
832
California's Redwood Coast
They kick the fake eggs out of the nests. Lol

I see this happen sometimes too, but not always... I wonder if having a certain smell helps.

And yes... it has made me wonder if I'm better off leaving the nest where they decided so at least I don't have to search every day for their new spot. But I worry about it attracting predators.

Yes, I desperately feel your frustration and have been there and worry about being there again with the better weather starting. Crazy I thought it was monkey see monkey do. But it's actually chicken see chicken do! How come it's never the GOOD traits that wear off onto others? :he

Thankfully we are flat. But when I was climbing a ladder to get the nest in the redwood stump and realized I'm jeopardizing my own livelihood and that of my entire family.. I KNEW it was time... and I'm sure she lived happily ever after at her new home... nest hiding disclosed before hand of course. Haven't regretted it since! :)
 

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