Help! Girls started laying... from the roost bar!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CaptainQwak, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. CaptainQwak

    CaptainQwak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The four hens I got in July are just starting to lay... I think just two so far... but they are laying from their roost bar! A few eggs have been found on the wire mesh intact, right under the bar, but most are cracked!! I put dish towels in under the bar to cushion the drop but they keep kicking the towels into the run below. I just started supplementing calcium. I've had two nesting boxes up in the coop with ceramic decoy eggs, but they ignore them completely. I've never seen them in the boxes. They came with the coop and seem a little small, do I need larger ones? Is there any way to discourage the hens from laying while roosting? I want to eat my delicious eggs not throw them away!!
     
  2. FrozenWings

    FrozenWings Out Of The Brooder

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    My fist though after I read your post was. What are the lighting conditions like in the morning at sunrise? If it is too dark in the coop your girls might not be able to see their nesting boxes. I assume it is happening in the morning. You could also try leaving one of their eggs in the nesting box to encourage them to lay there. Sounds like your hens are young and do not have an elder hen to show them the difference in laying and roosting. Some other helpful info would be...

    How big are your nesting boxes?
    What is the ratio of nesting boxes to hens?
    Are your nesting boxes on the floor or really high?
    What type of nesting material is in the nesting boxes?
    Do your nesting boxes provide privacy?

    -Frozen Wings
     
  3. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an older Hen and she's been laying in her box but my teen buffs just started laying and are doing the same thing. They have a lot of light, we're in GA and she lays midday. One is trying to lay in the corner on a small ledge! Of course they fall. We're going to lock her up after midday and hope she learns to lay but we need to give her another spot that is not Mommas because Momma is the dominant Chick ... very good mild chicken and she has her own place in the coup.
     
  4. saellis

    saellis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hen that did the same thing this summer. I had to watch her every day for almost a week when she attempted to lay from the roost. If I saw her go to roost take her down and put her in a nest box. She was not happy and very persistent about returning to the roost. It took a lot of patience but I finally broke her of the habit.
     
  5. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My wonderful handyman husband fixed the problem! We heard her chucking away this morning so he put on his pants and built 2 boxes next to the roosts.
    By the time I got out there I had a warm egg in my hand!
    Happy New Year!!![​IMG]
     
  6. CaptainQwak

    CaptainQwak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Happy New Year everyone!! Thanks so much for the replies. It is pretty bright in the coop so I don't think that is the issue... the two nest boxes are toward the back by the egg door. I moved them forward a bit, but they still ignore them. They are apx 12" x 15" x 6" high, which I think is standard. They are filled with excelsior and have brown ceramic eggs in the nesting material, one each. I'll try putting straw in when I can get to the feed store. Anyway. I put a pillow and towels in under the bar last night. This morning when I checked there were no eggs. Early afternoon I went around the yard checking for eggs and found one sitting on the pillow. One of the girls must have gone back in the coop and layed it... was still warm so late morning or noonish. I think it is the black australorp. Whether she laid it on the pillow or from the roost bar I don't know. I think I just need to watch the girls and figure out who is doing what, then I can better address the problem.

    Any additional insight on breaking this habit or making nest boxes more attractive would be much appreciated!!
     
  7. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would be worth taking a picture of a chicken laying an egg on a pillow!!!!!!!! [​IMG] Congrats on your breakfast!
     
  8. CaptainQwak

    CaptainQwak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know, right? LOL. FW is probably right... I have a feeling they are doing this because they don't know what's what, we just have the four girls and no older hens to teach them. Hopefully they'll figure it out, or their coop will become a pillow palace!
     
  9. FrozenWings

    FrozenWings Out Of The Brooder

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    Glad to hear you and DH identified and cured the immediate problem! DH are good for somethings, and don't forget we love to hear about it too. My wife says you can actually see our heads swell. :)

    -Frozen Wings
     
  10. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Frozen wings my dh is an excellent man. I'm glad he's around everyday.
    :D
     

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