My hen is laying in the dark... What's up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mr. Frizzles Hen House, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Mr. Frizzles Hen House

    Mr. Frizzles Hen House Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2008
    Seabeck, Washington
    Ok, so one of my Americanas has a new behavior that has stumped me. The coop light goes off at 4:30pm which is promply followed by all my girls assuming their spot on the roost. I usually go and close the coop door shortly after dark and check for any late eggs. The last four nights or so I have had the same Americana sitting in the same nest box after dark. She is not on any eggs and is sitting with her tail feathers up and her body feathers fluffed. Same as the others look when laying. Why is she doing this after dark all of a sudden, and can she get to the roost in the dark?
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    Maybe she is becoming Broody? If not I do have one hen that always roosts on the ledge of the nest box and will not roost with the rest of the hens.
     
  3. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    She may be sleeping in the nest box to keep warm, or just to have a place of her own. The only way to know if she's really laying in the dark would be to go out early in the morning before the light comes on and check for an egg.
     
  4. Mr. Frizzles Hen House

    Mr. Frizzles Hen House Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2008
    Seabeck, Washington
    I don't know? She isn't hanging out in the box during the day. She comes rushing out with the rest for the morning treats, and seems to be behaving normal otherwise. The first night I was surprised to find her in the box. So I lifted her up a bit to make sure there wasn't an eggs under her. She then stood up and just waited for me to leave. The next morning there was a green egg on the ground. I've repeated checking under her the following nights, but she refuses to stand. No eggs on the ground after the first either. If they get broody, don't they want to be in the nest all the time? She's about seven months old and has never behaved this way before. Should I let her be, or put her up on the roost. I was afraid to disturb her if she was just screwed up in her laying cycle. This is my first run with chickens. Trying to figure it out as I go:)
     
  5. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    It doesn't sound like she's broody -- if she was she'd stay in nearly 100% of the time, growl at you if you got to close, and peck your hand if you tried to reach under her. It wouldn't hurt for you to put her on the roost with the others, but she may be having personal problems with them (I've got two hens who flat out moved from one coop to the other rather than deal with whomever they had problems with).
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    There is no strict rule that says a hen must lay only during the day. It is a biological thing. I don't understand what the concern is. She is laying. You are getting an egg. Since the average hen lays on a 25 hour cycle getting eggs at night is part of the cycle. As far as roosting, not every chicken will roost either. I have some that prefer to snuggle into a place on the floor of the coop and sleep in a circle. My big blue orp roo will not roost at all. He sleeps in a corner of his pen that he has wallowed out a nest type depression. 4 of his girls sleep around him. The other hens roost up top. This really isn't something to worry over or to over think. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mr. Frizzles Hen House

    Mr. Frizzles Hen House Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2008
    Seabeck, Washington
    Thanks! I think I'm going to just let her be for awhile. I just didn't know if it was a sign if something was wrong. I suppose I could go out later to check before I go to bed to see if she's still there. My husband will think I'm crazy though if I get up before 4:00am when the light goes on to see if their is an egg:) Thanks for the help!
     
  8. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I have some oegb, bantys, and of the group of 7 there is one who insists on sleeping in the nest. I wouldn't mind except that when birds sleep they also poop and so there is constantly poop in the nest that other girls lay eggs in. Poopy eggs are not a good thing. I tried running her out, I've tried locking all of them out of the nest when they were molting and not laying, but, even after several months, when I opened them up again, she went right back to sleeping in the nest and leaving poop. I don't know what to do now.
     

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