Hen Behavior

Sydney65

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
1,402
2,942
266
Indiana
I know they'll drop eggs willy-nilly until they've decided on a nest site and prefer to have a nest hidden away that we don't learn about until they go broody & don't come home one night.
Mine have a communal nest in the coop they cont to add to. I won't swear it's been added to every day this week bc it's been so hot that they're staying in the shade of the corn & I'm spending as little time outside as necessary as well. But I am still seeing new eggs when I do look, 1 brown, 1 white. Despite vowing to keep them locked up,I've been taking the risk of letting them free range bc of the heat.
2 months ago, the jumbo hen didn't come home at the end of the day. Her mate ran back & forth calling her until he threw up his wings and gave up. We could hear her, but couldn't locate her. It was a restless night, but the next a.m. at sunrise, here she came, ready to eat, & returned to the coop every night after that.
2 nights ago she did the same thing. He didn't even bother going after her, and I finally closed the coop w/o her. Same thing, next morning she was back & slept in the coop that night.
She'll be 3 in a couple of months, this is her 2nd season. So what is she doing?
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,718
9,022
676
Stillwater, OK
I know they'll drop eggs willy-nilly until they've decided on a nest site and prefer to have a nest hidden away that we don't learn about until they go broody & don't come home one night.
Mine have a communal nest in the coop they cont to add to. I won't swear it's been added to every day this week bc it's been so hot that they're staying in the shade of the corn & I'm spending as little time outside as necessary as well. But I am still seeing new eggs when I do look, 1 brown, 1 white. Despite vowing to keep them locked up,I've been taking the risk of letting them free range bc of the heat.
2 months ago, the jumbo hen didn't come home at the end of the day. Her mate ran back & forth calling her until he threw up his wings and gave up. We could hear her, but couldn't locate her. It was a restless night, but the next a.m. at sunrise, here she came, ready to eat, & returned to the coop every night after that.
2 nights ago she did the same thing. He didn't even bother going after her, and I finally closed the coop w/o her. Same thing, next morning she was back & slept in the coop that night.
She'll be 3 in a couple of months, this is her 2nd season. So what is she doing?
Hi Sydney, with our guineas, I’ve observed that it takes a little while for some hens to go fully broody. So I’ve also had a guinea hen sit on a nest that I couldn’t find one night, be back in the coop the next, then stay on the nest another night. Eventually, she commits to being broody and doesn’t come back at night. You need to track her and find that nest. Then you’ll need to decide whether to herd (or carry) her off every night or destroy the nest. Either way you should get a brief break in egg laying! BTW, ours almost never sporadically drop eggs around unless I’ve locked them up, away from their usual nest.
 

Unicornlife3316

Songster
Apr 21, 2018
461
921
206
Bryan, TX
I know they'll drop eggs willy-nilly until they've decided on a nest site and prefer to have a nest hidden away that we don't learn about until they go broody & don't come home one night.
Mine have a communal nest in the coop they cont to add to. I won't swear it's been added to every day this week bc it's been so hot that they're staying in the shade of the corn & I'm spending as little time outside as necessary as well. But I am still seeing new eggs when I do look, 1 brown, 1 white. Despite vowing to keep them locked up,I've been taking the risk of letting them free range bc of the heat.
2 months ago, the jumbo hen didn't come home at the end of the day. Her mate ran back & forth calling her until he threw up his wings and gave up. We could hear her, but couldn't locate her. It was a restless night, but the next a.m. at sunrise, here she came, ready to eat, & returned to the coop every night after that.
2 nights ago she did the same thing. He didn't even bother going after her, and I finally closed the coop w/o her. Same thing, next morning she was back & slept in the coop that night.
She'll be 3 in a couple of months, this is her 2nd season. So what is she doing?

i didn’t read the rest of the comments but let me add my experience -

i have had the same, guinea hen off on a nest one night, two nights, sometimes up to 5 - but then it happens. A raccoon finds the eggs, a snake finds the eggs, something finds the eggs (hell even a cow stepped on one nest and destroyed them) and that causes my hens to come home 🤷🏻‍♀️ Nothing to sit on. I prefer my hens all be in the coop every night so if I can find them and their nest - I take the eggs if I want them and smash a chicken egg so they think their eggs have been taken!That makes them come home until their next nest (in of course a different location) is ready to be sat on. So what @R2elk said is 100% right - this is what they do 🤷🏻‍♀️ They’re difficult but hilarious!
 
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R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
36,047
176,245
1,661
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
A raccoon finds the eggs, a snake finds the eggs, something finds the eggs (hell even a cow stepped on one nest and destroyed them) and that causes my hens to come home
I found one of my hidden nests by stepping right in the middle of it. I step more carefully than a cow does. None of the eggs I stepped on were damaged.
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
36,047
176,245
1,661
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I have also found one by driving the side by side RIGHT next it and seeing a glimpse of white. Just in the middle of a field 🤷🏻‍♀️ Those birds lay anywhere 😂
At the start of laying season and when seeking a new nest, mine will drop their eggs wherever they happen to be when the urge hits.
 

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