My broody hen insists on laying her eggs in a secret nest next door

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenpotter, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. chickenpotter

    chickenpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2015
    Mechanicsville, Va
    I'm now just into my third year of living with chickens:) I love it and have learned so much from all of the great chicken people here at BYC. It seems, though, as soon as I solve one problem, another one pops up.
    So here's my current dilemma: my Specled Sussex hen Dottie went broody right out of the chute last summer as soon as she started laying at 5 months. I didn't discover her cache of 16 little pullet eggs until she had been sitting on them for over a week. I decided to let her finish it out figuring none would hatch. She actually hatched out 2 chicks (who are now grown and nice additions to my flock).
    As soon as she started laying in the fall she began laying in the neighbor's yard under their shed. I found her nest and figured I would let her keep it up until she started sitting and then move her into a small coop. She went into molt and out of broodiness and abandoned the eggs.
    Now she's back to laying and went right back to her favorite shed spot. I moved her eggs into the small coop and tried to encourage her to keep laying her eggs there. Nope- over the fence she goes and now has picked another location that I can't find.
    I don't mind if she lays her eggs there, but don't want her sitting there because we have raccoons, foxes, hawks, etc and I can't leave her unprotected.
    Why won't she just lay her eggs in the nest box like a good girl and is there any way to fix this? She is a very sweet and stubborn chicken mama!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You may wish to keep her in the coop until she lays, and then let her out. After a few days of (hopefully) laying in a nest, she should get the idea, and break the habit of laying elsewhere. Putting fake eggs, golf balls in the nest may also help her to get with the programme.
     
  3. chickenpotter

    chickenpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't lock her in my big coop as the other hens won't be able to get to the nest boxes. I have a small coop and can try keeping her in there longer. I did that yesterday for a few hours. She seemed so frantic that I let her out, but I can try leaving her in there all day. There's water and food in there and a nest box with eggs in it.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Not sure of your set up at all??

    You may want to lock all birds up for over a week and retrain her to the coop or follow her to her nest. Collect all her eggs and if she is broody? Lock her in a cage with the eggs inside a garage or shed?
     
  5. chickenpotter

    chickenpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'll try the second option. Thanks for your response!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
  7. chickenpotter

    chickenpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2015
    Mechanicsville, Va
    Thanks for the advice y'all. I'm working on it. Will weigh in when I find a solution.
     

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