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Hens laying eggs in Hay bales

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Waltzing Matilda, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Waltzing Matilda

    Waltzing Matilda In the Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    Mid Atlantic
    All of a sudden some of my layers are laying their eggs in my hay room. I found 2 clutches of 12-15 eggs each. One even made a tunnel in between two hay bales. They have nice, clean nests but I noticed that there were less and less eggs in the boxes. They can access the stall with the hay since their converted stall/coop is right next to the one with hay. I have plastic netting on 2/3 of the top of the stall since the stall on the other side also has hay in it. I guess the only way to stop them is to totally net in the remaining portion?

  2. ellieroo

    ellieroo Songster

    Mar 22, 2008
    Quote:[​IMG][​IMG]: Welcome to year round easter egg hunt !! We have gone thru this for years and yesterday I found a beautiful batch of eggs!
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Yep. I've found that no matter how much I make the nest boxes just like the places they like to lay, they still occasionally build a new nest somewhere. My current nests are in straw bales and they mostly lay in those. But the other day I found they had built a new little secluded nest down in between some straw bales, with all the bits of straw that were flung out of the original bales.
  4. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    My barn coop interior walls run 4' up on one side and 10' up on the other with the remainder being covered in 1/4" hardware cloth all the way to the roof (that's 12' feet up), so that kept them out of the hay room and horse stalls until I opened the interior pop door. (I have both interior and exterior pop doors and the interior one opens into my hay room.) Most of the girls would run along the corridor and out the other pop door on the other side of the hay room to the great outdoors but a few of them would climb way up on the hay stacks and nest. They LOVE burrowing into the hay, exactly as you said.

    I don't mind looking for the eggs on most days but I hate having poop on my hay. YUCK. I solved the problem by using heavy canvas tarps and tying them securely in place around the hay. It means I have to unfasten and lift the tarp every day in order to feed the horses and donkey but it's worth it to me not to have my hay ruined. [​IMG]
  5. Put a hay stack in their nesting area...?
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Songster

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    Quote:I hear you. I hate having poop on the hay as well.

    My hay shed is quite a ways from my chicken coops. My kids built a fort inside the hay in the hay shed and the other day they came in the house with a green egg they found inside their fort. I have some devious chickens. [​IMG]
  7. Waltzing Matilda

    Waltzing Matilda In the Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    Mid Atlantic
    Thanks all--just what I figured...they will do what they want to do and find a way to do it!

  8. Isn't it amazing the lengths chickens will go to to be, well, chickens?!

    The lady who introduced me to chickens has the same problem... drives her nuts!
  9. erinszoo

    erinszoo Songster

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    Ditto!! Ours lay in the hay bales too. I'm just glad they choose somewhere half-way protected to lay them since mine are free range. So far we've only had them in the hay bales, nest boxes, and on the floor (in the hay) of their coop. Of all the places they could be laying in my yard, the hay bales are the least problem. [​IMG]
  10. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing Premium Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    New York State
    My Coop
    I found a nest yesterday. Just 2 green eggs. I've been wondering why I haven't been getting eggs lately... I've closed the barn though, so they should start going back to the nest boxes (hopefully!).

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