Older hens kicking new eggs out of nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Little-farm, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Little-farm

    Little-farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
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    Has anyone had the problem of older hens kicking the eggs of younger hens out of the nesting box? I have 6 boxes, but they all lay in one and twice I have found an egg on the floor (without any cracks) of the coop- same egg (araucana egg). The older girls tend to keep the younger ones in place anyway, they are one year apart. Does anyone have a solution? Or should I just let the older ones get used to the younger ones using "their box"? Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Do you know for sure that the old gals are actually removing the young girl's eggs from the box? Have you seen one of the young girls lay an egg in the box? If you haven't actually witnessed the young girls laying an egg in a nest box, you might test out your theory by marking the next egg you find on the floor of the coop, then placing it into a nest box and see if it stays put. My guess is that the old gals have ownership issues and aren't sharing the boxes, so the young girls are laying their eggs on the floor. How many girls do you have to share these 6 boxes?
     
  3. Little-farm

    Little-farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
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    I have not seen her lay in the box, but I had the suspicion because there are beak scratchings all over the eggs. I suppose the other possibility is that she is laying in the corner, and then rolling? The egg is out in the open of the coop. I will try and put the egg back, as you suggested and see what happens. I have 15 chickens all together, 7 are the older girls and the 1 just started laying. The other youngins have not started laying yet.
     
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    We found one from our new girls in the coop instead of the box but I suspect it was probably more a matter of the old girl not letting the new into the box.

    It did seem to have a hole pecked in it but the membrane wasn't broken, only the shell. I thought maybe someone stepped on it. Maybe that's how yours got scratched too?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  5. Little-farm

    Little-farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Bar Harbor, Maine
    How did you get her to not lay on the floor? When my first girls started laying on the floor, I put the nesting box on the floor and then raised it up slowly, but would this work for the second batch of layers? Or will the older girls lay in it instead? We are moving house in a week, so maybe the new coop setup will help balance out the order a bit (or at least make them confused) :)
     
  6. foundmyhappy

    foundmyhappy New Egg

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    My six hens are all the same age. One day I left an egg in their nest box for my son to collect which is a set of four nest boxes. When we went to get the egg a few hours later- it had been kicked out onto the floor and replaced with another egg. This has happened since then. If I don't get the eggs right away they end up on the floor of the coop! Three hens prefer one certain box and will not sit on some other chickens' egg.
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Putting a higher lip on the edge of the nesting boxes really helps with keeping the eggs and nesting material inside. I like a good 4" or more and the hens really have to work at it to get an egg out.
     

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