Hen laying from perch at night -- breaking eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wasauce, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. wasauce

    wasauce In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2011
    Hi -

    We have a chicken coop with perches 2-4 feet off the coop floor. We also have nesting boxes currently placed outside the coop, under the awning of the coop. The chickens have, until 3 nights ago, been laying only in the nesting boxes.

    However, as of three nights ago, each night one of the hens (we cannot tell which yet) is laying an egg at night (around 11pm) while she is on the perch. Of course this means the egg falls from 2-4 feet off the ground and cracks on the floor (we have a wood floor covered in shavings).

    Is this common?

    Is there something we can do to help prevent this from happening? Beyond wanting the egg, I really just don't want to train the other chickens to eat chicken eggs -- something they seem to be doing when the egg cracks open.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    Something might have frightened her about going outside to lay her egg at night in the boxes under the awning. Maybe just the darkness, here, it is getting darker at night and earlier also.

    I would put another nest box inside. Even a milk crate will work. Make it easy to get in and out of in the dark.

    I had hens laying at night. One would leave her roost in a tree at night in the pitch blackness of Hawaiian night, hike down across the field, climb my deck stairs, and lay her egg in the nest box on the table. Only place I could put the nest box to keep the mongooses out of it and from stealing the eggs.

    The one laying at night in Alaska, couldn't see well enough to get back on the roost and spend the rest of the night in the nest box on her egg. Maybe a night light so she can get back on the roost.
  3. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Usually hens lay 24-27 hours apart, so sometimes morning, some days, some nights. put another box in the coop for night layers, and all should be fine.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    It happens from time to time. Their on the roost its dark & the egg is ready so they launch it. They can't see at night. I always check under their roost every morning for this you don't wanna leave the broken egg on the floor. They might taste it & then you will have them eating their eggs.
  5. wasauce

    wasauce In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2011
    Thanks for the help everyone! I will put a nesting box in the coop and make sure we clean up any broken eggs in the future.

    Thanks again.
  6. I have a hen that has dropped eggs from the roost. she had plenty of nest boxes not more than 4 feet from her inside the coop. She got into a laying frenzy when she was younger and her timing was messed up. she would come in for the night, get up on the roost and lay sometime from then until dawn. She has since stopped it and is a 1 1/2 yr. old. not to worry. [​IMG]
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Your situation is not unique. Some of my older birds are laying occasionally from the perch at night. I wonder if they were having dreams about laying eggs when it happened.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: