laying habits

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ariesmom, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Ariesmom

    Ariesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
    I've recently been letting my 2 hens and rooster free range from morning til evening and now I have no idea where they are laying the eggs! We found a stash of 15 eggs under a broken branch in a small hole in the ground but my husband disposed of the branch and now they are doing it somewhere else and I have yet to find them! We have a huge problem with oak snakes and I feel like we are offering a buffet of eggs somewhere since I can't find them not to mention our family could use the eggs. How do you encourage them to lay in a place that you would prefer? I don't want to pen them up but I'm going nuts trying to play find the hidden eggs! Any suggestions would be great!
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Ariesmom,

    You didn't mention your coop/run set up, but your solution to control the location of eggs seems to me to be in controling the location of your chickens. Especially since the eggs will be an invitation to snakes and other predators. You certainly don't want to loose a hen to predation.

    If you don't have an enclosed run where you can 'jail' them until they change their egg-laying habit back to the nest box, perhaps you could build a temporary run, or a 'play pen' from PVC pipe and chickenwire or bird netting -- to control the area where they free-range, and it that area include water, shade and a nest box.

    good luck. Post back when you find the solution to your chickens egg hiding and let us know what you found that worked.
     
  3. Ariesmom

    Ariesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
    My coop or run is basically a dog pen with a dog house of straw for them to lay in...everything was fine when I kept them in...they would make a little nest in the straw and each hen would lay on their own spot. I've ran off several oak snakes that were found in the dog house ( one with an egg already half way down it's throat) and I wonder if they've become unsure of that being a safe spot to lay now. First when I started to let them free range, I'd find an egg here and there...some in the horse stall, some under the hose reel and I know for sure snakes are coming around because the eggs in those spots had disappeared. But after finding that stash of 15 under the dead branch, I realize they are laying real well and somewhere out there, there are more! I almost stepped on a 5 ft oak snake the other day that is hiding in our hay storage which is real close to the chicken area. They love to range all day but I want my eggs!!!
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    can't blame you for wanting eggs. They sound like really good layers too.

    Sounds like snakes are a problem, and the hens are smart to want to hide their eggs from the snakes. If there was a way you could elevate their dog house a little maybe that would help. Up on cement blocks or an old table --- something that the dog house would overlap. I know that snakes can be pretty amazing climbers...maybe you could make it hard for the snakes.

    Also, if you got a portable tractor arrangement that you could move around and also contained a nest box...maybe you could have the best of all worlds and not have it be a snake magnet, because it would be relocated.

    It sounds kind of like a paradise for snakes and lots of buffet eggs. All the more reason to get them (eggs) for you instead of the snakes.
     
  5. Ariesmom

    Ariesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
    thanks for the advise! I'm currently talking to my hubby about ways to elevate the doghouse without chancing it knocking down and hurting one of them. Unfortunately oak snakes can climb very high so hopefully we can out smart them. Thanks again!
     
  6. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Melrose, Florida
    I have a chain link dog kennel run and was having snake problems. I got deer netting and put over the outside of the chain link and so far no more snake issues in the run.
     

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