Hen moves nest whenever we remove all eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KCNC06, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    One of our three hens started laying about three weeks ago. When my husband found her nesting area the first time he removed all the eggs, then she didn't lay there again. She moved her nesting area into a dogloo that we have inside the chicken/guinea pen (long story...hateful guineas got kicked out of the coop...) and has been laying her daily egg in there for the past couple weeks. I quickly realized that if I left one egg in the nest, she'd continue going back to that nesting area. She had previously been giving us the "stink-eye" every time we went near her nest.

    Well, Friday evening I came across a giant possum inside the chicken/guinea pen and got concerned that the possum might find the eggs in the nest, realize it was where to come for eggs and continue coming back. (Very odd experience. This was seriously the biggest possum I've ever seen, I'd guess at least 20lbs, just slowly climbing a tree and looking over its shoulder at me. It didn't seem to care at all about any of the birds and none of the birds cared anything about it.) So I took all the eggs out of the nest that night. The next morning she laid her morning egg in that nest, but by afternoon it was smashed. Yesterday we couldn't find her egg, this afternoon my husband found yesterday's egg along with today's egg on the opposite side of the house behind our HVAC unit.

    I really do get the impression that she doesn't like having all the eggs removed from her chosen nest area. Maybe she just can't remember that she likes that particular nesting area if she doesn't see an egg in there already. Other than leaving an egg behind, is there any way to prevent her from moving the nest? Besides not letting her free range?

    I don't want to risk having predators find her nest and start coming around looking for eggs. So far we've been really lucky considering how far out in the country we are. We know there are predators around, but nothing has bothered our birds or our gardens...other than our puppy. Try as we might, we're having a very hard time convincing this puppy that the birds are our friends and he shouldn't chase them.

    Thanks for the help!! [​IMG]
  2. Puck-Puck

    Puck-Puck Chillin' With My Peeps

    How about leaving a fake egg in the nest? Or a blown-out one filled with gel, if she's smart and onto your tricks? [​IMG]
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Leaving fake eggs (golf balls work well) will make the hen think that you have left the eggs there, and she will stop trying to hide them.

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