Laying in the weeds? Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mattjanky, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. mattjanky

    mattjanky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2016
    A couple days ago I noticed one of my barred rocks darting for the weeds and brush as soon as I let her out of the coop. This morning I followed her and found a nest she had made with 11 eggs in it! So she's been doing it at least for a little while. I disturbed all the weeds around it and took all the eggs. Will this deter her from going back? What are other deterrence methods and how common is this? I have 9 hens and only seem to be getting about 5 eggs a day so I'm wondering if more are doing it too. Oh and are these eggs safe to eat assuming they've been there 11 days? One for each egg
     
  2. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only thing that will deter her is locking her up in the run for a week and getting her back to laying in the nest box.
    You can also try cutting all the weeds and eliminating any sheltered spots she can nest in.

    Are they still good to eat? Maybe. When wild hens set, they lay an egg a day until they set the clutch, up to 2 weeks. So eggs can last a while and still be "good". Whether or not you want to eat them is another question..
     
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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Also, consider this: IF you were a hen, would you be happy with the nest boxes in the coop? Is there something that you might do to make them more inviting? Are they lined with lots of bedding? (I use hay). Do you have some golf balls or fake eggs in the nest boxes? Are they in a quiet place in the coop? Where is this gal in the pecking order? Is she being bullied when she goes in the coop nest boxes? Are there enough boxes to go around? Any chance there are red roost mites in the boxes??? Yes, confine her to coop and run for about a week to re-train her. This will most likely mean doing so with your whole flock. How many birds? How big is your coop/run? Is the run equipped to keep the flock well entertained/busy with a job do do if they are confined for a week at a time? (Deep litter, toss some scratch into it, give them some hay bales to play with, perhaps even a swing, lots of weeds to munch on) If all else fails, you might consider giving her a nest IN THE RUN. (I've never resorted to that, but sometimes we need to think outside the box!)
     
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  4. mattjanky

    mattjanky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2016
    Thank you for the suggestions I'll try them. My coop is definitely too small. It's a pre fab rated for 6 hens which is what I had originally. But I ended up getting 3 more hens and 2 roosters from craigslist. I'm in the process of building a much larger coop with a large run that will accommodate even more for next spring. But it's a slow going process because I'm getting married in 9 days. After that I'll have a lot more time to finish it. It's my first time having chickens and I wasn't confident enough to build a coop from scratch a first. But I think I can do it now that I've had them for a while and after getting good info from good folks like you guys on this site. I'm planning on building a large lean to style coop thats at least 8'by 4' with something like a 14' by 7' run to accommodate all my chickens and more for next year. Plus my 2 turkeys that just roost on the gate to my duck pen now. My curent coop has 3 nesting boxes but I notice they never use the middle one curiosly. But thank you for the advice
     
  5. mattjanky

    mattjanky Out Of The Brooder

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    Also 2 of the eggs had yolk on them so an egg may have gotten eaten by her or another animal but I figured if an animal found them it would have eaten all of them. My 2 acres that the chickens free range on has far to much growth to get rid of entirely and I don't mind too much because it hides them from hawks.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Keep in mind that crowded birds are prone to aggression and behavior issues. Recommendation is 4 s.f./bird in the coop, and 10 s.f. in the run, bare minimum/bird. More is better. Your space limitation is the most likely issue. Broken eggs are not uncommon with new layers b/c they are getting the reproductive system tuned up.
     

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