Hens not letting you take eggs out of nest box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickiee, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Chickiee

    Chickiee Songster

    Hi, I just read under "Breeds", "Plymoth Rock," that someone had a chicken that didn't like him/her taking the eggs out of the nest box. This may be a silly question, but is this common? Do they really get upset at you for taking the eggs? I haven't read anything about this. I just figured they lay the eggs and leave the next box, then we just gather eggs without a problem. Do you just make sure the hens are out of the nest boxes before taking the eggs out? Thanks!
  2. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

    Oct 1, 2008
    No, generally they just lay and leave. If I'm in a hurry for eggs and someone is sitting there I reach under and grab them, it's not normally a problem. If a hen is broody and you value your fingers then that is not recommended but otherwise it's not an issue!
    2 people like this.
  3. If a hen is pecking when you gather eggs, she's probably a broody hen. She's wanting to hatch those eggs underneath her fluffy feathers [​IMG] Even when they're not her own...or if their ceramic...or golf balls!! When mine go broody, I'll pick her up and remove her before gathering eggs if she's a pecking hen. I have a couple that even when broody are really mild mannered.
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. wsmith

    wsmith Songster

    As has been stated before, most hens "lay and leave". But then you get a hen that wants to hatch chick..........watch out!. Years ago we had Barred Rocks. Out of an average of 25 hens at a time, we almost always had at least one that was broody, and would do what she could to keep us from "stealing" her eggs. We devised a method of eggs collecting that sometimes got entertaining.
    1. Wear leather gloves
    2. (i am right handed) Distract the hen by moving your right hand slowly in front of her head and to the right. As she is getting ready to peck at your right hand, control her head with your left hand. No need to be rough, but you will need to prevent her from pecking, etc.
    3. While still controlling her head with your left hand, use your right hand to remove any eggs she might be sitting on.
    4. Do this each time you gather eggs until she gives up being broody.

    This method worked well, just remember to wear leather gloves. Large fowl hens can give quite a pecking, and it can hurt.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  6. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have used a spatula to lift the hen up and then I start grabbing eggs. I had only had a couple of hens that are really aggressive, and then only when they are broody. Leather Gloves are a very good idea. I have also been able to train a mean broody to not mess with me. I have no problem with lightly smacking them on the beak for bad behavior. I can only remember one hen that never learned to be nicer to me.
  7. Chickiee

    Chickiee Songster

    Oh my gosh... looks like I'll need to get some leather gloves when it's egg time! Funny about the spatula. If I have an old one, I'll hang on to it.

    We're getting a variety of breeds to start with. 1 Partridge Rock, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Silver-laced Wyandote, 1 Golden Lakenvelder, 1 Light Brown Leghorn and 3 Easter Eggers. I understand the Orpington might get broody. I can't wait to see all their personalities!

    Thank you everyone! You're all so helpful!
  8. WLLady

    WLLady In the Brooder

    Definitely leather gloves!!!! I have one new hampshire hen that has gone broody several times on me....and i have been just lifting her out of the nest the last couple of times, it broke her behaviour in about 3 days. this time though she raises all her feathers and screams screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee at me and the JAB! leather gloves can take it-my work coat cuffs are looking al little rough now though[​IMG]. she stopped laying two days ago, and started fighting the other hens for their eggs, so 2 nights ago i gave her two of her very own eggs....and she hasn't moved a muscle since except to eat and drink, but as soon as the coop door is open screeeeeeeeeeeee! feather puffing and everything! i still have fertilized eggs from a recent set of matings (hatch on tuesday and another batch next tuesday!!!! have a bunch of fuzzybutts already) i really don't need more chicks, but if it makes her happy and doesn't disturb the rest of the girls she's welcome to try to hatch them out.

    most of the time though my girls lay and leave and go looking for scratch and stuff never been pecked by any of them when they aren't broody. it's just the broody ones that seem to have an issue.....and if they scream, watch out she's on the hunt...LOL
  9. AprilAWZ

    AprilAWZ Songster

    Nov 28, 2007
    northeastern MN

    The spatula idea makes a heck of a lot of sense, but the visual I got reading that...[​IMG] Are you ever tempted to give them a good flip?

    I'd rarely been whacked so bad that it broke the skin, but it's not pleasant! What I do is just slip my hand under her and grab that egg as quickly as possible...I don't want eggs to get scrambled in the upcoming festivities. Then, I put my now-empty hand back under her. When she goes to whack me again, I grab her head and hold it down on the bottom of the nest box. I'm obviously very careful and gentle doing this...I don't want to injure her...but at the same time, I don't let her get away. I keep her head down until she calms, usually 15 secs or less. Of course she's usually grumping at me for subjecting her to this indignity, but oh well... A couple days of this, and they generally stick to the grumbling and chastising, but no whacks.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    There are some hens that just don't like to be disturbed when they are laying. Are you always happy to have the boss wanting the job done now? It was kind of a test of the nerves when we were kids when we were gathering eggs. Would this one be nice or peck? Because ya gotta check because hens like to use the nest every one else uses.

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