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Need Help...Hen Laying in the Run!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iwiw60, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Okay, most of you know me by now....I have 4 BA ladies. Two of them lay consistently in one of the nesting boxes, no problem.

    Then there's Ms. Neurotic, who insists since laying her first egg during the night up in the roost bar/poop tray (oops!) on laying all eggs since in the exact same spot, yep, in the poop tray. (Thankfully she is not an early layer and the poop tray is always cleaned beforehand!)

    Now for #4 hen...she laid her first egg out in the run in a burrowed-out hole she had made...no problem I thought, it's the first one, she just didn't know where to go....not! She is now like Ms. Neurotic in that she has laid every egg since then out in the run!!!

    While I have given up trying to correct Ms. Neurotic's egg laying behavior, is there anything I can do to fix this latest problem with Hen #4? I'm at my wits end!
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Since you know which one she is and you are fortunate enough to be able to spend a lot of time with your birds, I would simply sit out with them for a few days and each time you catch her in "nesting" mode (that period before they lay when you can see they are in the zone) gently pick her up and move her to the nest. If she is far enough into the zone she is unlikely to put up much of a fuss and will likely settle right back down wherever you set her (ie in the nest) to finish what she's doing. A couple of days and she should just be in the habit of associating the urge to lay with going to nest in the nest box. I had a couple determined to be floor layers and both are now firmly consistent box layers after just one day for one and two for the other of being moved to a nest box.
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Thanks for the great info! I'll have to spend even more time out there, then. Boy, she's a doozie when it comes to 'when' she gets the urge to lay that egg. I'll be out there with them for sometimes 1-1/2 to 2 hours, go inside for whatever, when I go back out there it is!! And she doesn't do the egg song! That's what's so frustrating.............WHY ME, LORD??!!!! [​IMG]
  4. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    I will relay what I did when I faced a similar issue just a week or 2 ago. Perhaps you could adapt my technique to help?

    After having a few days of fewer eggs than expected, and finding Nina (6 Month old Faverolles) missing for hours at a time I knew something was up. My wife called me at work and said that she had found Nina. And 5 eggs. Crammed under the wood pile.

    With some advice from this forum, I locked all of them in the coop for 3 days. I let them out and they were happy! Did it work?

    On the day I let them out I watched Nina like a hawk. Once again mid-morning she bee lines it for the woodpile from across the yard.

    I scooped her up and locked her in the coop while I put chicken wire around the wood pile. By the noise she was making while I was working you'd think that there was someone in there putting hot irons to her feet. I was hoping that she was giving me an egg in the nesting box, but no dice. She was just frantically pacing. Yelling out the window. Hopping in and out of the nest boxes.

    I opened the coop and again she bee lined it for the wood pile, but this time she couldn't squeeze underneath to lay an egg so she frantically clucked and paced around it for almost 2 hours. She would jam her head in any spot bit enough just to see if she could squeeze in. Over and over and over. The other girls looked on in pity. It was funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

    Apparently the urge to lay was just too great and she finally gave up and ran down to the coop to lay. Success!

    I still have the chicken wire around the pile (it's been about a week now) but ever since that day she doesn't seem as interested in it and has laid in the box as I had hoped.

    Would she go back to laying under the pile if I took the wire away? I kind of think she would. So I'm going to leave it there for a while longer as it's no bother to me other than making my wood pile not as attractive as it could be (silly I know, but I pride myself in my stacks of wood...)
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    [​IMG]I had to laugh at your post...too funny!! See, that's my problem, my coop is attached to their 9' x 16' run...they do NOT free-range. So you'd think she'd "get it" and do what the other girls are doing...go in that coop and lay that darn egg!! I've been trying to watch her, like you say...a hawk, to no avail yet. She's a sneaky little thing and doesn't even do the egg song...geez! If I could just catch her before she lays I could put her in the coop and lock her in but so far no go. Thanks again...loved your reply!! [​IMG]
  6. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Songster

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    My suggestion would be to lock them all in the henhouse for a day or so. Good luck!

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