Leave eggs in nest?

brutus27

Hatching
9 Years
Nov 12, 2010
2
0
7
I have four chickens (no rooster) and today I found my first egg so I'm totally thrilled. My question is: If I leave the egg in the nest will it cause the chickens who haven't started laying to start laying quicker and will it stimulate the one who layed it to continue? Or should I just take the eggs out as soon as I find them? Thanks.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
360
661
SW Arkansas
welcome-byc.gif
to BYC and congrats on the first egg.

I would definitely remove the egg from the nest, as it could be broken. If it gets broken, your chickens will learn what tasty treats eggs are and egg eating chickens are very hard to break.

You can replace the egg with some golf balls or plastic easter eggs, filled with sand and glued shut. Basically any egg-shaped object will do.
 

brutus27

Hatching
9 Years
Nov 12, 2010
2
0
7
That's a good point. Thanks! Will putting a fake egg there make them broody at all? Also, how long do you recommend leaving a fake egg in the nest?

Thanks again.

Paul
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
32
204
Olympia, WA
Leaving eggs in the nest won't make them broody. They just go broody when their bodies tell them too and will sit on anything or nothing at all. I've had several that pancaked out on nothing but shavings.

Leaving eggs in the nest doesn't promote or encourage laying either. What it can do though is help the chooks know that that is a good place to lay their eggs. Hens are the ultimate copycats, when they see an egg in the nest their little bird brains go...Oh, that looks like a good place, I'll lay my egg there too! Congrats on that first egg, hope you have many more soon!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,735
14,050
656
western South Dakota
If they do not want to go broody, nothing will make them broody. Last summer I wanted someone to go broody, so I piled up 8-9 eggs, no go. Then one day she went broody, and her sister did the next day.

I have one fake egg in each nest. I just use roundish rocks. works pretty good. mk
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
360
661
SW Arkansas
Quote:
^^^That. To answer your other question - my big girls are more than 2 years old and I still leave the golf balls in their nests, even though they all use their boxes consistently. Can't hurt anything and if Mr. Black Snake ever finds their nests he might pick an "egg" that he can't digest.
This morning when I went in my juvenile coop and found several eggs in a nestbox (that didn't have golf balls in it), I promptly removed the eggs and replaced with golf balls.
 

catdaddy66

Songster
10 Years
Nov 18, 2009
1,050
17
151
Lugoff, SC
I have kept a golf ball in each nest since they were near to laying. I have thought about removing them as the girls are using the nests as they should, but the use of them as predator trap was told to me recently which made sense. No harm in leaving them in!
 

WhetzelMomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 8, 2009
409
4
121
Canyonville
Kittymomma has a great answer. I'd like to add that you don't have to have a ball in every nest. I have 8 nests, and only two balls. That's plenty to encourage laying in the nests. I actually think they are BETTER about using the nests when there isn't a ball in every nest. Makes them lay in just one or two nests. I pull the real eggs when I see them, and the balls keep them using the nests without worry of hurting the real eggs. I used to have egg breakers, and none of them do this anymore thanks to the golf balls.
 

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