Moving straw out of nests...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shelleen, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. shelleen

    shelleen Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2011
    My son put fresh bedding in the coop last week & now, most of the nests are emptied everyday of the straw! We put it back in, they move it out. Why? I have been trying to break them of sleeping in their nest boxes, but they still sneak in there to sleep earlier & earlier (now before I am home from work usually) So we also have to daily go through picking up hens & roos and putting them on roosts, before we can close the nests for the night & put straw back in the boxes. They typically lay 12 or so eggs in 3 boxes & empty the rest (7) of straw. I am beginning to think that they are just master manipulators!! [​IMG]

    Any ideas on this new, annoying behavior?
     
  2. Crippledturkey

    Crippledturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 39 layers and they only lay in 4 of the 12 nest boxes provided, and kick the straw out of the others as well. Chickens are picky about where they nest, so I just deal with it and chalk it up to chickens. If ya try to make sense of their behaviors it can drive ya nuts, lol. As for their roosting, how old are they? Mine automatically went up on the roost on their own in their own time, the americaunas finally went up when they were about 17 weeks old. Remember your pecking order is shown on the roost, the ones low on the nest boxes may not feel part of the group yet, and when they do I am sure they will be rught up there, my americanas are 2 weeks younger than they other birds. Good luck.
     
  3. shelleen

    shelleen Out Of The Brooder

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    Most of the chickens (50ish??) were born in March, April & May. I have 8-10 hens that are from last year. The ones that are sleeping in the nests are several of the older hens, and the biggest of the newbies--Jersey Giants, Brahamas, Orps & a couple of young roos!! My little tiny Seabrights are on the top roost quite often & of course my mutts (Polish X)--which have a very aggressive disposition! (Our Polish roo was really aggressive, and he passed it on to his offspring, before he went to Freezer Camp--is this a typical Polish characteristic?)

    I have a few more roos to cull & maybe the pecking order will settle into a better balance.

    Before we put new straw in the nests, they never bothered the old straw (last years crop). Maybe they like "aged" straw!!
     
  4. Crippledturkey

    Crippledturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Straw could be it, I know mine act a little weird right after I chage out their straw in the coup, and now that ya mention it once the older straw becomes soft and broken down I start finding eggs in other nests, but they r still r nowhere near as popular as the 4 they prefer, will find 3 chickens in one square foot nest box, like a cheerleader pyramyd lol. mabey someone else here will know more.
     
  5. shelleen

    shelleen Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2011
    I know...doesn't that crack you up when they are piled in there? I had a broody hen sitting on eggs & the other girls kept laying eggs on top of her. Made for some interesting days, trying to figure out which ones had marks on them. I guess they like to ALWAYS lay in the same place--who cares if someone's in there??
     
  6. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I heard one hen announcing her egg laying the other day. So I ran out to see who it was (not all of mine are laying yet!). One of my Marans was in the box and laid an egg. She got up (ok, I pushed her off the egg so I could see [​IMG]) and....there was a Japanese bantam UNDER her laying an egg too!

    Mine throw the straw out of all the boxes except one. I have 24 hens all trying to use the same box.
     
  7. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    They always want what the other one has.
    If one girl looks super comfy in her box laying her egg then everyone else wants that box too!

    They are so silly about it as if the one girl is taking too long there is pacing and loud squawking at her to hurry up. Some even get in the same box like well you won't move so I am just gonna do my thing here too!
     
  8. shelleen

    shelleen Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2011
    I'm thinking this is another reason to install a Coop Cam! I'm usually at work when they lay & I miss all the fun most days.
     
  9. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, my girls do the same thing.

    One thing I did that has helped is I snipped the straw into 4-6" pieces instead of having it all over the place. I have noticed that they like to pick at the straw that is standing up or poking out. By snipping it down they are able to still make their nest the way they like it but they pick it out less.
     
  10. ChickenGirl165

    ChickenGirl165 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens don't 'kick' the straw out but rather pick them up by its beak, turns around and lets it go. I suppose that it didnt like its nest so it tried to make a new one. haha!
     

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