Hen fell asleep in the nesting box!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WoeiHaveChicken, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. WoeiHaveChicken

    WoeiHaveChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 4 hens, 2 rhode island reds, 1 ameraucana, and 1 black copper maran.

    One day, at dusk, I was closing the hens into the coop and I saw the black copper maran in the process of laying in the nesting box. I figured since she was already in the coop I'd close the hens in and come back to collect the egg later, once all the chickens were roosted.

    It was dark, approximately 3 hours after the sun set, I went back to the coop to collect the egg and the black copper maran was still there! It's like she fell asleep on top of her egg after laying it. I thought that was crazy, she didn't even get up to the roost.

    It seems as if the chickens go into a daze once the sun goes down. For example, it's pretty difficult to pet the chickens during the day, and they are sometimes too fast to catch (although, they love receiving treats from us). Once the sun goes down, I can lightly pet them and even pick them up.

    What does the darkness do to the chickens? lol
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickens are pretty helpless in the dark. They have terrible night vision. And once they go to roost, they do go into a trance-like state. This is why a predator proof coop is so important. A raccoon could be in the coop tearing birds apart and the rest will just sit there.
    Having said that, it sounds like your hen may be going broody.
     
  3. WoeiHaveChicken

    WoeiHaveChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Interesting. This is the first time it's happened, and she normally doesn't guard her eggs. I picked her up and put her on the roost as soon as I saw her sleeping in the nesting box.

    I figured it was because she laid so close to dusk. We will keep an eye on her though.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good Job!

    She may be going broody, if she's sits on the nest most the day and all night for for 3 days running....
    .....or she may have been bullied off the roost for some reason.
    Just keep an eye on it and see what you can observe...time and observation will tell the tale.
     
  5. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They can't see in the dark
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It’s rare but I’ve had that happen a few times. It’s almost always with pullets. They are laying an egg and it gets dark on them so they just stay on the nest. A hen has different triggers that tell her when to start a new yolk through her internal egg making factory. One of those is when she lays an egg. Another is tied to daylight so she can avoid the problem of needing to lay an egg in the dark. All hens are entitled to an occasional oops but oops happen more with pullets than older hens.

    It’s possible she is going broody. It’s possible something happened (usually bullying on the roosts) that she will get in the habit of sleeping in the nests. With living animals about anything can happen, but this sure sounds like an oops to me. As complicated as the entire egg making process is it’s remarkable that so many hens and pullets get it right so often.
     
  7. WoeiHaveChicken

    WoeiHaveChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    It's been a couple of days, and she hasn't done it again. I think it was an oops. haha
     
  8. WoeiHaveChicken

    WoeiHaveChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    My Coop
    So our chicken is hanging out in the nesting box again.. We went out of town for 2 weeks and the neighbors were taking care of the hens. They started noticing the chicken sitting on the eggs for about 2-3 day straight, every time they went to collect eggs.

    Generally we let them free range, so they went 2 weeks cooped up. I keep moving her out of the nest and putting her on the roost.

    I'll need to evaluate for a couple of more days, but maybe she'll do better if she has some free range time.

    We'll see!

    How do you remedy broody hens?
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Elevated wire cage with food and water, but no bedding of any sort. Three days is usually all it takes to break even the most persistent broody.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     

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