Is this unusual behaviour? What is she?

Craigboy53

Chirping
Jan 19, 2020
27
47
54
Ailsa Craig, Ontario
It went down to -5 C last night. The actual coop where the brooder box is located is heated so it never gets colder than -2 C. This morning I went to collect eggs, and the leghorns (named Thing1 and Thing2) had 2 eggs in the brooder box, as usual, but when I opened the run door (not heated) Carmen had laid another egg just inside the run door, and it was frozen solid. Well, at least she’s getting closer......better than out under the bird feeder.
is it possible the Things are bullying her and keeping her from laying in the brooder box? There are two compartments in the brooder, the eggs are found on one side, and they poop in the other side. This picture is obviously from summer. The screened run is now totally enclosed in bubble wrap to keep out snow and wind, but it is not heated.
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
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is it possible the Things are bullying her and keeping her from laying in the brooder box?

There are two compartments in the brooder, the eggs are found on one side, and they poop in the other side.
Yes, it's possible.
Or could just be a confused new layers,
it can take some time for them to get with the program.

Are the 2 'Things' already laying?
How old are all these birds, in months?
Did they grow up together?
Only 3 birds total?

What you call the brooder is usually called the nest.
Semantics maybe, but a 'brooder' is here you raise tiny chicks,
a 'nest' is where the layers (hopefully) deposit their eggs.
The poop in one side of the nest is probably because one or more birds are sleeping in there instead of the inadequate roosts that are usual in those prefab coops.
Looks like you expanded the coop?
Pics of inside would be good here.
 

Craigboy53

Chirping
Jan 19, 2020
27
47
54
Ailsa Craig, Ontario
Yes, it's possible.
Or could just be a confused new layers,
it can take some time for them to get with the program.

Are the 2 'Things' already laying?
How old are all these birds, in months?
Did they grow up together?
Only 3 birds total?

What you call the brooder is usually called the nest.
Semantics maybe, but a 'brooder' is here you raise tiny chicks,
a 'nest' is where the layers (hopefully) deposit their eggs.
The poop in one side of the nest is probably because one or more birds are sleeping in there instead of the inadequate roosts that are usual in those prefab coops.
Looks like you expanded the coop?
Pics of inside would be good here.
Thanks for the education in terms! It is now the nest!
All three were raised together where we got them, and they are the same age, born in July 2020. We did have four chicks, but one never thrived and died. (See previous posts).
Yes, the Things have been laying since Nov 24, sporadically at first, but now about 5 eggs every three days. Always layed on the same side of the nest. All three birds sleep together on the side where they poop.
we inherited the prefab coop from neighbours. It was small. They had four hens in the right hand side of the coop, and the second half was fenced open run. I enclosed that part, and added another five foot run on the end, to double the space.

There were no roosts in it when we got it. I added two roosts, but rarely see them on them. I’m suspecting the roosts are too small, and too close together, but the small coop really restricts placement. I’m starting to think the whole coop needs rethinking with better planning.

First two are self explanatory. Third is of centre section of coop with feeding tube/trough. Fourth and fifth are the bubble wrapped run, inside and out. Sixth is taken from the run, looking toward nesting area. Seventh is the nest. Eggs on left, they sleep and poop on right. Eighth is looking from nest end towards the run, showing heated water (-12 C last night), and two perches.

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WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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Maine
In July 2019, we got four chicks 7 weeks old. Two Leghorns, one which was billed as an Araucana, and a rumpless mystery bird, aptly named Golem, billed as a ‘rumpless mix’.
From the start, Golem did not thrive. She ate, ran with the others, but wasn’t getting much bigger, and died about first week of November. She is the one in the last picture.
The other three grew well and thrived. When Sept came, they started to moult, so we left the supplemental light off, and just left natural light. All went well through the fall, and the girls seemed to have stopped moulting, so the supplemental lighting was activated, coming on early so the girls would get 15 hours light.
Our timing must have been good, as we got one egg two days later (Nov 24) and then started get two per day, from the leghorns.
The third hen (which I don’t think is really an Araucana (please help ID this girl), was not laying any eggs. The leghorns have been giving us about 5 eggs every three days, but still nothing from Carmen. Yesterday, I went to fill the bird feeder (30 feet from the coop), and found a light brown, oval egg sitting on the ground. Was very cold, but not frozen so it couldn’t have been there long. (The girls free range the backyard). Didn’t see Carmen at the time, but it must have been her.
So, my friends.....what kind of bird is Carmen? She has a few feathers on her feet. Is it usual to have one bird not laying? Does the egg look like it might be hers? Why would she lay out in the snow, rather in the nice warm brooder box? Any suggestions as to what I should do, if anything?
Thanks! 🥸


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Sometimes new layers don't get the urge soon enough to get into a nest box. I have layers of over a year and the other day I let them out. I looked out a few minutes later and there was a egg. There can be a traffic jam at the door sometimes. Some birds don't know it the want in or out. I've had birds who "always" lay in a nest box lay outside some times.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Craigboy53

Chirping
Jan 19, 2020
27
47
54
Ailsa Craig, Ontario
Roosts need to be higher than nests.
Here's an excellent modification to that kind of coop:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ng-in-nest-boxes.1134399/page-2#post-17749535
Thanks! This modification may have to wait until spring.

Any thoughts on bullying? This morning there are quite a few blood spots around the coop, on the side of the water container, and Carmen‘s head is definitely been pecked, as I can see feathers out of place. The two leghorns are apparently beating on the ‘odd one out’!
Any suggestions as to what we should do?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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Any thoughts on bullying? This morning there are quite a few blood spots around the coop, on the side of the water container, and Carmen‘s head is definitely been pecked, as I can see feathers out of place. The two leghorns are apparently beating on the ‘odd one out’!
Any suggestions as to what we should do?
More space can help...or separate one or both of the bullies...or pinless peepers for the bullies.
 

Craigboy53

Chirping
Jan 19, 2020
27
47
54
Ailsa Craig, Ontario
More space can help...or separate one or both of the bullies...or pinless peepers for the bullies.
Well, more space isn’t possible right now, nor is separation, as we have no other place for a hen.
After searching ‘pinless peepers’ to find out what they are (shades for chickens....who’d a thunk?), I have ordered some to give it a go.
Back in 1981 when I was doing my MBA, we did a case study about a chicken farm, and back then they were putting red contact lenses in the hens’ eyes to reduce bullying. I guess things have progressed from back then!
Thanks!
 

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