Read this online, Should I try it?? Would you??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suzettex5, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I dont know if anyone else has heard of this, or if its been discussed before, but....

    Since I have a good sized flock, with different age groups, I'm not sure who might be laying, or where. Most of my older hens use the nesting boxes religiously, but once in awhile there is a stray egg in the yard. But I KNOW some of my girls should be laying by now, but I cannot, for the life of me, find the eggs. They free range an acre everyday, and I have searched it and searched it! I even bribe the kids with $ to find the eggs. These hens are all 5 months old, accepting the roo's advances, and just 'look' like layers. Its driving me nuts, because the ones I suspect tend to run in a group and they dissapear for a bit every morning. (no, I cant follow them hoping to catch them in the act, my life is a tad busy at the moment, LOL!)

    So I looked up how to find a hens hidden nest, and this is what it said, (in a nut shell)- Put a black peppercorn just inside her vent, and it will cause some slight irritation. She will think she needs to lay an egg, so she will run to her hidden nest and expell the peppercorn. Youre supposed to follow her to the nest.

    Now, I was thinking it might be kinda mean to do that, I wouldnt want to hurt my hen. But, if she can get it out, maybe its not so bad?

    Pro's and Con's everyone?

    Would you do it?

    How do you find hidden nests?
  2. Rozzie

    Rozzie Songster

    Jul 14, 2010
    Seems cruel to me to purposefully put an irritant in such a location.
  3. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    Its Cruel, dont do it [​IMG]
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Just lock them in the coop for a few days and even up to a week to retrain them to the nest and to see just how many eggs you should be getting.

    I have an acre of free range also and its much easier for me as I do not border a woodlot...but I still have trouble with outside nests at times.

    When I find a nest that is high enough in the hay to keep the dogs out of it, I just leave it. This gives them a place outside to lay that I know about. Pretty soon it seems like most of the "outside gals" will start using the nest and I can just gather my eggs per usual.

    Oh...and I wouldn't do the peppercorn thingy...too laborous just to see where they lay. Not to mention it is just a little mean.... [​IMG] [​IMG] Ouch!!!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  5. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Yeah, I kinda thought it was mean too. I wasnt sure, thats why I posted the ?? . I guess I should just lock them up for a few days and see whta happens. I worry about them being in the coop in this heat though- its about 100 degrees out everyday. It is noticeably cooler in the coop, but what happens to the temp when you add 6 or 7 warm bodies for the day? Cant run a fan, but will try frozen water in 2 liter bottles.
    I hope they dont go on strike due to being locked up and hot, but I cant have eggs lying around somewhere waiting to attract predators. Havent had any real problem with them in the past, and I try to keep it that way. [​IMG]

    Thanks all!
  6. ellend

    ellend Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    cleveland, ohio
    Peppercorn can cause an actual burn. A burn in the mucosa where ammonia exits would be a very bad thing. You were right to be concerned about that advice![​IMG]
  7. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    Personally, I wouldn't do anything to my birds that I wouldn't want done to me, and ummmm NO peppercorn is going in my vents [​IMG]
  8. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009

    Thank you!! [​IMG]
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    No, that would set up real irritation and probably infection - you could end up losing a layer, aside from the fact that it 's physical abuse.
  10. ekemily

    ekemily Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    She might think you're preparing her for the oven.... [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by