Help! Hens hiding eggs!

Smokey2201

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 12, 2014
165
4
61
Hi so I have 5 hens. They are Rhode Island Reds. They have nesting roosts for them to lay eggs in. But they don't. Only 1 does. We only get 1 big brown egg each day. I want to get all 5 a day. They used to lay eggs in the roosts. Then stopped. I have put fake eggs in there to try to get them to lay in there. No luck. We have 5 acres of land full of sheds, barns, and long grass. Does anyone have any ideas on how to find the nests without having to search through 5 acres? Or make them lay in the roosts?
Thanks!!!
 

boskelli1571

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 7, 2011
3,769
1,476
381
Finger Lakes, NY
Hi there,
The only sure fire way I know is to lock them in their coop for several days. That way they have to use the coop area to lay in and you break the pattern of laying outside.
Good luck,
fl.gif
 

duckie mama

In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 25, 2009
98
5
31
kilgore
You might have a rat or snake or something that is making them feel unsafe in the coop. Check it out. if not lock them inside for a few days.
 

Smokey2201

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 12, 2014
165
4
61
I have searched the coop nothing plus I have some bantams that like to stay in the coop so i probably don't have anything. I tried locking them in there for one day and that didnt go really good. I have 11 3 week old chicks and they do not like to be locked up neither their mom.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Hi so I have 5 hens. They are Rhode Island Reds. They have nesting roosts for them to lay eggs in. But they don't. Only 1 does. We only get 1 big brown egg each day. I want to get all 5 a day. They used to lay eggs in the roosts. Then stopped. I have put fake eggs in there to try to get them to lay in there. No luck. We have 5 acres of land full of sheds, barns, and long grass. Does anyone have any ideas on how to find the nests without having to search through 5 acres? Or make them lay in the roosts?
Thanks!!!
Get yourself an interesting book, but not too interesting. A comfortable folding chair, and 2 quarts of water. Tis best to site your chair in the middle of the 5 acres. Sit and read but every few minutes look up and see where all 5 hens are. When you see a hen sidling off on her own watch her extra hard. This is especially true if she is singing a version of an egg song.

As equally as important if not more so when you hear the egg song pay close attention to who and where it's coming from. Soon you'll have every one of your hens' secret nest sights pinpointed. Where you go from there is a subject for a different post. But this is true, hens don't give a rats arse where their eggs are, but the location of their nests are another matter altogether. I don't know how high your nests are but if you'll lower your nest some you may have better luck.

It is not written in stone at this time of year that all 5 of your hens are laying everyday but likely more than one of them are.
 
Last edited:

Smokey2201

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 12, 2014
165
4
61
Ok thanks I am going to have to try that. I think they are hiding them under our granary but not for sure.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Some of the places that I've found secreted hens nests are in the lee of trees, fence posts, fence corners, including rail fence corners. Under, below, and in derelict farm machinery, abandoned automobiles and trucks, (remember hens can't read car tags so what to you may not be an abandoned vehicle can be abandoned in a hens' mind. Brush piles, hollow trees, barn lofts in the bottom of 55 gallon drums, beneath the floor of farm buildings, underneath the hood of my truck and beside an azalea bush next to the drive in window at the bank. Same hen as the one beneath my truck's hood but that's a long story.
 

Smokey2201

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 12, 2014
165
4
61
Ok I am gonna have to go on a search then. I read that you can put a kernel of pepper in their vent so they will think that the itching is to lay an egg and then follow her to her nest. Should I do that?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,871
125,271
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Locking them in the coop to 'train' them to the nests (takes more than one day for sure) would be far more efficient and successful in the long run.

You can lock them in all day and night for a few days to a week, or lock them in at least until mid to late afternoon.
No, they won't like it, but who's in charge there? lol Chickens don't like change but they adapt fairly quickly if you leave them to it.

Not sure what your climate is (putting your location in your profile will help folks give more viable suggestions) but come winter they will may be spending alot more time in the coop anyway so you want to make sure you have ample room for them to exist in there harmoniously, this would be a good opportunity to test that out.

Good CLuck to ya!
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom