Hens dropping eggs from roost

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by meekasmom, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. meekasmom

    meekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    78
    0
    97
    Nov 30, 2010
    Elkhart, IN
    Is it normal for hens to lay their eggs while on the roost? I have 3 hens and every morning I find 1 egg in a nest box but 2 are always on the floor under the roost in a pile of poop. Sometimes one of the eggs are broken from the fall. I have noticed this happening since the it stays dark longer and wondered if they are staying up on the roost because it's too dark to jump down. The one egg that is in the nest box is always warm so it was layed after it gets light. I will have to install a light on a timer to give them light earlier if this is a cause. Am I on the right track in my thinking?
     
  2. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    54
    156
    Jul 20, 2012
    Lancaster Ohio
    I have had the same problem. It use to happen every morning but now it is just every once in awhile. I don't know how normal it is. But my girls are only 6 months old. I tried going out early and finding out who was doing it. But failed but I did figure out they were doing it when it was still dark out. My thoughts are that they are getting the urge to lay and can not see to go to the nesting box. So they just drop it in the sand under the roost. I have 11 that are laying good. Now sometimes I find one in the sand outside the nesting box, I think that is because they are waiting in line to use the same nest and that hen can't hold it anymore! At first I thought it was because they were kicking the egg out of the nest so I built the side up higher and that didn't work. I am just thankful they are hiding them anymore! How old are your girls? And yes you are on the right track! I am going to install a light with a timer to go on in the morning and off at day break!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  3. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    54
    156
    Jul 20, 2012
    Lancaster Ohio
    How many nesting boxes do you have? You could try taking them off the roost and putting them in the nesting boxes.To let them know that is were they are suppose to do this! I have 6 boxes for 11 layers and they only use 2 or 3 of them.This morning I had 6 eggs in one box.
     
  4. meekasmom

    meekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    78
    0
    97
    Nov 30, 2010
    Elkhart, IN
    My hens are about 9 mo. old and I have 3 hens and 3 nest boxes. They used to lay in the boxes but now 2 of them are not. I think this started when it got light out later. I am going to try having a light come on early, like around 5 am and see if this helps. Sounds like your problem may be the same as mine. Thanks for the input.
     
  5. Sandra Lee

    Sandra Lee Out Of The Brooder

    85
    5
    33
    Apr 21, 2012
    Rhode Island
    One of mine is doing the same thing! I have 3 hens and they are still young (25 weeks old) and the one that is laying off the roost was the first to lay (she's a Red Star hen). She started laying in the nest boxes on the second or third day and continued to lay in the nest boxes until the last couple of weeks. Now she lays right off the roost every morning!!! I didn't think about it being dark out until later in the morning, but she does lay the egg before I go out in the morning (so while it is still dark outside). Does anyone else have suggestions of other ways to stop this? I don't really want to install a light in the coop...I was hoping this would just be a temporary thing for her. My Rhode Island Red hen is being a pain and laying right in the run too...but she just started laying recently so I am hoping she will eventually get back to the nest boxes as well.

    Thanks for any help [​IMG]
     
  6. Paul 1952

    Paul 1952 Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    29
    Apr 10, 2012
    Spokane Valley, WA
    Same issue here ... 6 hens and 2 nest boxes. They've been laying since the 4th of July but one hen, a Red Star, over the last month has decided she's just too early to get up. So, right there on the roost... it's not a real high roost so no broken eggs really but it's a pain. So I keep her roost area clean as I can and let her have at it... on the upside that same girl hasn't missed a day, she's got a very distinctive egg and not a day goes by without an egg. So I'll count my blessing I guess... ;-)
    Nobody said raising chickens would be easy and if that's the biggest issue I've got then it's all good.
     
  7. Sandra Lee

    Sandra Lee Out Of The Brooder

    85
    5
    33
    Apr 21, 2012
    Rhode Island
    Yeah same here, she lays every day...big gorgeous dark brown eggs. So no complaints there. It's just hard to keep them out of all the poop from that night! So I was hoping there was some sort of solution...especially since she was laying in the nest box every day for a while.
     
  8. Paul 1952

    Paul 1952 Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    29
    Apr 10, 2012
    Spokane Valley, WA
    About the only thing I've come up with in the way of a solution is to maybe add another nest box, although 2 with my 6 birds should be plenty. But another nest box might be more to her liking and thus she'd lay there instead of the roost. And/or ... toying with the idea of a dim light in the nest box area just in case it's a darkness sort of issue.
    And in the meantime I generally try and keep her roost area a bit cleaner... as she lays in the same spot mostly every day I'll try and keep the phoo picked up and the shavings a little more tidy for her, thus no poopy eggs.
     
  9. Sandra Lee

    Sandra Lee Out Of The Brooder

    85
    5
    33
    Apr 21, 2012
    Rhode Island
    I have 3 hens and 3 nest boxes! Haha. I ordered some nest pads to try because they just kick all of the wood shavings out every day, we'll see if she likes the fake grass stuff better. Otherwise, I may try hanging a curtain to see if she likes that better. Picky hens, who knew! Will update this if something seems to work, but right now she is laying so early in the morning I am sure she is not even looking for another spot...it's just convenient to let it drop off the roost...so who knows. My Easter Egger thankfully still lays in the nest box but I have to break the RIR of laying in the run too. They started out so well, I wonder what happened!
     
  10. TexasLisa

    TexasLisa Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,606
    368
    246
    Jan 27, 2012
    Rosenberg, TX
    I am so happy to find others with the same problem! I have 8 girls and 4 nest boxes. I hadn't even thought about it being dark--it makes sense though! It seems like I had read on this forum where somebody had put a wire netting under the roost to catch the egg. I just put extra shavings so the egg will have a soft place to land.

    I had one walking in front of me the other day and she squatted down and laid an egg right in front of me. [​IMG] I LOVE this site!

    Lisa :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by