One out of 12 laying at night, on the perch

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FreeBirthMama, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. FreeBirthMama

    FreeBirthMama Out Of The Brooder

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    I've had my 12 ladies for about 2 months now. They're secondhand, between 7 and 18 months old. Several of them are molting right now. The first week we had them, I found a few eggs on the floor of the coop, some broken some intact. I just figured they were getting the hang of the new coop. I could tell one of them was laid on the perch because there was a yolk smear on the top lip of the nesting box. Since then, most of the eggs have been in the nesting box. But I still occasionally find one that was laid from the perch at night. I rarely find the shell, usually just the yolk smear, so they are cleaning it up themselves. I've only had a few eggs with pecked holes in them, so I don't think egg eating is the issue, just the fact that one silly chook lays at night while roosting. Is this normal? What can I do about it?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    You know, I think that is common. I did have a few pecked eggs, and one chicken was laying her egg on the floor, either inside the coop or out into the chicken run. My chickens hatched out in the spring this year, and they were all new layers. So we did have a few mis-haps with eggs and I know I found some remains of a few eaten eggs, but that stopped.

    Some people with hang a shredded curtain over across the front of their nesting boxes, which makes the boxes more dim or shadowy, that way the chicken just lays the egg and then leaves the box.


    Just be sure to collect the eggs as often as possible, and also if you see a broken egg, grab it up and don't let them eat it. Once chickens taste broken eggs, they tend to love the taste and will often break them on purpose to eat them, teaching others to eat them also.
     
  3. FreeBirthMama

    FreeBirthMama Out Of The Brooder

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    The kids check for eggs several times a day, and are always removed while still warm! But these perch laid eggs are being laid at night, or very early morning as I only find them when I go open the coop doors in the morning.
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Do you have enough nesting boxes? They say one for every three hens is good. Maybe she's low on the pecking order and isn't getting a turn to use her favorite nesting box.

    One thing you could do, is maybe put alot of wood shavings under the roost so the egg can fall but not break.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Sometimes after stress of moving or when they are relatively new layers, they'll drop an egg on the poop deck. It's like they are so relaxed at night the goofy egg just falls right out, and since they poop a lot at night they don't even realize that's what's happened. I got several of those when my girls first started laying. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Try to pick up the remnants as quickly as you can, which is what it sounds like you are doing. While mine did peck at and sometimes eat the ones that had fallen onto the poop deck, they still never do peck at those in the nests. I think it might be because, at least in my case, the ones laid during the night had softer, thinner shells.
     
  6. FreeBirthMama

    FreeBirthMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: I have 4 nesting boxes, so that shouldn't be a problem. Besides, we get most of our eggs in the afternoon, so the nesting boxes are often vacant in the morning. Also, the eggs are breaking on the perch, not even getting the chance to land on the shavings. I've found a couple that broke hitting the top lip of the nesting box, and a couple that broke on the second perch from the top. Most of my girls roost on the top perch together, sometimes one or two end up on that second perch though. Wish I knew who was laying on the perch!

    I'm going to lower all the perches by 12 inches today. I've got several hens that I'm treating for bumblefoot and I want to make jumping down easier for them. It just occurred to me that maybe she is laying up there to avoid jumping down? None of them seem hesitant to jump down when I open up the coop in the mornings though.

    I do suppose it could be one of the younger layers, but since the shell is gone when I find it, I don't know if its thinner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  7. FreeBirthMama

    FreeBirthMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Since posting this I hadn't found any more eggs laid on the perch so I thought the problem was solved. But yesterday I found another. I have an old rain gutter in place under their main perch to catch most of the nighttime poop. I clean it out about once a week. Yesterday I found an egg in it. It had no shell, just the membrane and white and yolk. I guess that's why I haven't found the shell the other times I found traces of broken egg under the perch. I've never had a shell-lees egg in the nesting box, or anywhere else.
     
  8. FreeBirthMama

    FreeBirthMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Another perch egg today. Just the remains of a broken yolk on the top perch this time, again no shell. One of my Sussex must have been underneath when it broke too because she has yolk on her back and side. At least I know she didn't lay it!

    Edit: I'm feeding layer mash, and offering baked, crushed eggshells all the time. We also have well water that is high in calcium. None of my other girls have shell issues. I'm assuming all these perch eggs are the same hen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Are the kids maybe making the birds nervous?

    A couple of my new layers had quite a run of softshell eggs, then they hardened up.
     
  10. FreeBirthMama

    FreeBirthMama Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think so. The kids are very calm and gentle with the hens.
     

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