One of our chickens decided it no longer wants to lay in the nesting boxes.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jujubeans2008, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Jujubeans2008

    Jujubeans2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2016
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    Hello!
    My husband and I currently have 5 fully grown hens.
    A couple of months ago, I went outside because I heard my chickens cackling like they were scared. It turns out, a hawk had killed one of my chickens. Ever since then, our Alpha hen has refused to lay in the nesting boxes. Instead, it lays in front of the entrance to the coop. Could this possibly be because she wants to "protect" the flock? Or has she just decided she's going to do what she wants to do? We do not currently have any roosters, ours was eaten by a fox before we fenced in our yard. We are raising baby chicks in hopes of getting one or two roosters. If we do not have any, then we will find someone giving one away on Craigslist.

    Thanks!
    Julie
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    This time of year hens seem to want to find the best place to lay, I'm assuming because it's their breeding season. So many start laying in different spots to the frustration of their owners.

    Usually predation makes chickens stick close to the coop and to be nervous so it's possible she's playing lookout and lays her egg closer to the door so she can see. Some roosters will sleep or sit in the doorway to guard the flock. Just some possibilities.
     
  3. Jujubeans2008

    Jujubeans2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I didn't think about breeding season.

    I'm hoping that whenever we do get a rooster, our alpha hen will feel more safe. They do run all over our yard though. Right now, we are only letting them out to free range when we are home. When our trees went bare in the backyard, we started having problems with hawks. When the leaves grow back, our yard will be pretty camouflaged because we have so many trees. I cannot tell you how many hawks I have "chased off" with a stick this Winter.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    We have lots of hawks too, so far they haven't gotten any chickens. I think hens are happier with a good rooster to look out for them, hopefully you get a good one.
     
  5. Jujubeans2008

    Jujubeans2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope so! We bought eight chicks, so hopefully one or two of them is a rooster. If not, we will be going on Craigslist.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Maybe throw a few fake egg/golf balls in the nests to entice her to lay there?
     
  7. Jujubeans2008

    Jujubeans2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are real and fake eggs out there. Haha.

    Our neighbor gave us one of her roosters that she rehabilitated. She has a straight run of fully grown chickens, and two of her roosters have been getting into it, and one was badly beaten up. She didn't want to reunite it with her flock in fear that it would get hurt again, and this time to the point of no return. So, hopefully the rooster will help make our hens more comfortable to where they can all lay in the boxes.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My roosters will get in the nestboxes and show the hens it's a nice place.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    There's a chances that your hen is stressed because of the loss of a flock mate changing the flock dynamic....
    ....adding a new bird may also create stress.
     

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