I seem to be developing a problem...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dturren, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. dturren

    dturren Out Of The Brooder

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    One of my three hens has started laying. She had her first egg two days ago in a flower pot in the yard. (It's a big 1/2 oak barrel with a rose planted in it.) I usually let the girls out in the afternoon so that I can keep an eye on then while they free range. Sometimes I can't let them out because I have to go someplace during the day. This morning at 7am, when I let them out of the coop into their run, I was met by this frantic hen, who seemed to be absolutely beside herself, running back and forth, obviously very upset. I let everyone out of the run into the yard and she began running from here to there, looking for a place to lay her egg (I guessed)...she was in a frenzy. I got them into the back yard (the safest area) and she went right to this same pot. She had her egg and now she is back to normal. I have a nest in the coop but she (or one of the others) completely messed it up, pulling out all the hay, making it unusable. Will she always want to go to this flower pot at 7am? What happens when it starts raining? What happens when I have to go someplace during the day and can't let them out? Why won't she use the nest in the coop? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    I'd put some golf balls or fake eggs in the nexting box in the coop and keep the others out of it as much as possible. Are the hens sleeping in there?

    Miss Prissy says that you have to TEACH hens where to lay. They're creatures of habit and your hen will probably keep laying in that flower pot until she learns otherwise.
     
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Yes, sometimes you actually have to teach a hen where you want them to lay their eggs.

    JennsPeeps gives good advice (Miss Prissy always does!).

    Just a thought? Can you move that flower pot into the coop and see if she will continue to lay in it? If that's something you would want her to do.
     
  4. dturren

    dturren Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you to JennsPeeps and Chirpy. The flower pot is much too heavy to move into the run. I would prefer the hen (and the others) to lay their eggs in the nest in the coop.

    Maybe the nest is the problem. My three girls sleep on the top of the nesting box every night. Before they started to lay I left spaces between the boards on top so the poop would fall through. Since the one hen started to lay, I put a solid piece on the top to catch the poop before it dropped through, and, of course, cleaned up the nest with clean bedding and straw. I think I'll try a separate nesting box with golf balls to see if I can show all where to lay.

    Thanks again for your interest.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I had the same problem when I got my free rangers. They kept wanting to lay in some galvanized tubs in my shed and they got frantic when I placed them upside down to deny entry. I have a 10 unit galvanized nest box in the coop with attached roosts. Perfect for generations of chickens, but not for these spoiled brats. They had belonged to my sister and she let them lay simply everywhere...even in her vehicles (left the windows down)! I finally just kept them in the coop until I came home in the afternoon and then let them out(if they had already layed) for some free time. Did this about a week and then tried letting them out in the morning like usual. Because they had been forced to lay in the only place available, they had reprogrammed for the nest box. They never even went in the shed after that.
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I like beekissed's idea of locking them up for a week and thus denying them access to their other favorite spots. Hopefully they will chose to then lay in the nest box and not the floor of the coop.

    Put a golf ball or fake egg in the nest boxes, as suggested, to encourage/show them that that is the proper place to lay their own eggs.
     
  7. FrankBlissett

    FrankBlissett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Will she always want to go to this flower pot at 7am?"

    She very well may!

    We had one banty hen who lay for many weeks in a flower pot INSIDE our house last summer. First thing this spring, she was waiting to get back in the house.

    -Frank
     
  8. dturren

    dturren Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks again to Chirpy and to FrankBlissett. I'll have to try keeping them in their pen for a week. They love, love, love to go into the backyard but I'll keep them in the pen until she lays her egg, then let them out after lunch. Hopefully, when the others begin laying, they will see her and go to the same nesting box.

    Thanks to everyone.
     

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