New layer is struggling...maybe?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iheartnh, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Derry, NH
    My one lady who is laying seems to be having a hard time today. She gave me 4 eggs, starting some time last week (we were on vacation) and I have no idea when she laid the first two because they were missed by my chicken-sitter. I know she laid one on Saturday and one Sunday. I didn't find an egg in her nest yesterday, though I did see her sitting there in the morning. Later in the day, she had gotten out of the chicken yard and could have been out for a couple of hours - so she could have laid an egg pretty much anywhere (we have 2 acres of heavily wooded back yard). This morning, she's really loud, and I caught her outside the yard again - she squatted when I picked her up, and is very vocal, so I'm assuming she's ready to drop another egg and I put her in the nesting box. The chicken yard is basically a fenced off area designed to keep the dog out and not necessarily the chickens in, it's huge - 25 x 30 feet - for 7 birds, so they've got plenty of room and only in the past week or so have any of them ventured over the fence.

    I'm concerned that she either laid in the woods yesterday and decided she like that better and was heading back to her 'spot' when I caught her, OR she's struggling/bound? I know it's not usual for new layers to have trouble, and she doesn't seem to be in too much distress. I just wish I knew if there was an egg yesterday. My kids and I looked around sort of half-heartedly after dinner last night when she didn't leave an egg in the box, but there's just too many hidden spots that would make a great nest.

    I never expected to be wringing my hands over chickens laying eggs!!!!! Is it difficult to get them to lay in the boxes if they've picked a different spot?
     
  2. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    New layers sometimes lay a couple days, don't lay for a couple days, etc. until their body gets used to laying eggs. Or, like you said, she could be hiding them. My #1 way to find nests (found 6 of 7 hidden nests this way.) is to keep them in late. My one BSL HATES the nesting box - she almost never lays in there. So I keep her in late, until she starts pacing and making the frantic berkberkberk egg sound. I let her out - and she runs to her nest and I follow her. I don't know if you would be able to keep her in - it sounds like she can get out on her own. You could keep an eye on when she gets out, or perhaps set up a game camera, and follow her secretly to her place.
     
  3. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Derry, NH
    That's a great idea! I can keep her in the coop, just not in the run - because the run isn't secure, the coop has to be - so if this continues to be an issue, I will absolutely try that. I'm sure curious where she's going, as I am pretty sure she'd laid in the woods somewhere - I just spent the last hour or so patrolling the run, making sure she stayed inside the yard because she was becoming increasingly agitated. I kept putting her in the lay box, she would get out and come back to the yard and eye the top of the fence. After a few times doing that, I locked her in the coop. She is now in the corner where we found the first 4 eggs - so hopefully when I check on her in a bit, there will be an egg. I don't really care if she keeps using the corner - I just need to box off that area so it's defined as a laying spot.

    Thank you for your input!
     
  4. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Derry, NH
    And the egg has dropped. I repeat, the egg has dropped! [​IMG]
     
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Yay!
     

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