Hiding her eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EmilyinAL, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. EmilyinAL

    EmilyinAL Hatching

    Aug 23, 2013

    I have 2 hens, its been almost 6 weeks since I brought them home. They finally started to give me eggs on Sunday, before that there was 1 for each of them the day after I brought them home.

    They are free range except at night, around 630 or after theyve gone to roost Ill put them up, one is a sprinter most of the other times so I dont want to freak her out chasing her.

    My husband found 1 egg sunday under a purple hull plant in my garden, and then later I found another, bigger than the 1st, so I suspect they both layed that day. Since then Ive found an egg each day in the same spot in the garden, but I have no clue which one its from..1 hen is a "suicide jumper" as we call her, she (Maybelle) jumped a chicken truck and we got her from a friend who picked her up from the side of the road, and the other (gertrude) is a silver something or another, shes the smaller one.

    How do I figure out who's laying? Could the one whos NOT laying in the garden be laying somewhere else, and if so what do I look for as signs of where they've been? Is there anyway to tell how old they are? And finally, how can I get them lay in a better spot than my garden, Im fine with it for now as we're at the end of the season for those beans so anything they eat isnt going to be a problem, but Id like to discourage it for future seasons .

    Ive been reading lots and loving the pics of the coops!!
  2. It is far better to confine or restrict a new bird when it arrives on the property. Keep them in the coop/run for 7 to 10 days until they "own" the coop as home and nest as their own. By giving them free run, the Easter egg hunt is almost inevitable. Since I'm too old for such things, I avoid them like the plague.

    You can turn them out from 3 pm until dark, as the birds' don't lay that late in the day, for the most part.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  3. EmilyinAL

    EmilyinAL Hatching

    Aug 23, 2013
    I have a coop, but its in the most wooded area of our property and they werent laying in it, so about 2 weeks ago I let them out of the chicken tractor I made from a babybed that they were in after I took them out of the coop b/c I thought they werent happy....Ill def try your suggestion.

    Let me ask you one more question, when I made the tractor, my husband put a plywood box with a lid on one end of the bed at the "headboard" area about a foot and half off the ground, I also have a bar going across the width of the tractor for a roosting bar...but if I leave the box open to them, they sit on the ledge of it and roost and therefore poop in the nesting area all night long. so I tried a theory of closing off the nesting box with a simple sheet and they went to the roosting bar...is a nesting box suppost to be ground level? And how far up should the bar be?

    Thanks so much for all your help! I hope to get more girls and guy later, but I Thought I better take this slow, as Ive only had children for pets so far, and they just cry and tell you whats wrong...who would have thought hens would be such divas!! (jk, about the kids as pets BTW)
  4. ll

    ll Songster

    Welcome to BYC!
    The roosting bar should always be higher than the nestbox [​IMG]
  5. EmilyinAL

    EmilyinAL Hatching

    Aug 23, 2013
    I caved...I let them out this morning...they were pacing back and forth wanting out...how could a chicken mama deny them? Guess itll be an egg hunt today
  6. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    You might introduce a new nest box and put some golf balls in it. Chickens will lay eggs in places that look like other chickens think are good places to lay and they don't seem to know the difference between golf balls and eggs. I have a big run and my laying hens have 6 different places to lay eggs. I put golf balls in each of the nest boxes. When I change out the straw they sometimes decide that the formerly favorite spot to lay is no longer the favorite spot. So then I add more straw or make it more nest like and add more golf balls. not to say that I have not once in a while found a leg out in the run randomly laid out of a nest box because I have.

    One time - we had a noticed a definite decrease in the eggs and at first I had a snake but what it really was - was a broody goofy hen who made a nest in the woods in part of a tree low to the ground and I found her sitting on 20 eggs at a 45 degree angle. Most of the eggs were hers but not all of them. Clearly some of the other girls found this nest and added to the bounty. I took her out because we have foxes and raccoons in our woods and she was not yet sitting on the eggs all night. I counted the chickens to be sure everyone was in their coops at night.

    So we removed her and all the eggs - tested the eggs 3 were bad
    (water test and the higher they float the older)

    None had started to develop because at that time we had no rooster but I checked to be sure in case she had a secret affair with the rooster next door!

    I filled the hole in the tree with pine cones to prevent them from laying there and that was that.

    So you might have a girl thinking about starting a family hiding eggs in a different place but generally, they will lay where you want them to lay if you make it look nice fluffy and secure and full of golf balls.

    Hope that helps


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