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Rhode Island Red wants to be away from the other chickens when it's time to lay an egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aliciasimon, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. aliciasimon

    aliciasimon In the Brooder

    Sep 24, 2013
    Hi Everyone,
    I'm new to raising chickens and I love it! We have 3 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Rhode Island Reds. They are about 20 weeks old and one of the reds (we call her Big Red) just started laying eggs. It's VERY exciting.
    The problem I'm having is that she gets very distressed when she wants to lay an egg and she's in the pen area. We keep them in a coop most of the time and let them free range for a couple of hours a day. When she's out, she wants to get as far away as possible from the other chickens and find a place to nest. Today, she was out, happy as can be. Did not lay an egg. I had to put her back in the coop because it was time to let the dogs out. Now she's pacing frantically around the coop, she wants OUT. Yesterday she was outside of the coop and laid and egg in a box I had set up for her. They have nesting boxes in the coop - it's part of the hen house. The coop itself is in a 9x9 foot pen. I put fake eggs in the nesting boxes yesterday. I set up the box because she was clearly looking for a place to nest. I know that wasn't the best idea but it did make her very happy.
    As far as being locked up in the coop - is she just panicking now because the other hens aren't laying yet? We have found a couple of broken eggs in the pen. I feel bad keeping her in the pen and seeing her pace around like crazy.
    Thanks for any advice :)
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] She has picked the box that you set up outside of the pen as 'her' nest site. She wants to get to that box.
  3. aliciasimon

    aliciasimon In the Brooder

    Sep 24, 2013
    Hi, Thanks. I probably shouldn't have made a box for her outside. While everyone was out of the coop, she was obviously looking for a hidey spot far away from the other hens and I felt sorry for her :(
    But today - she laid a perfect egg in the nesting box (yay!)
    She had been pacing around the pen and wanting out but must have figured the nesting box would have to do. I think the fake eggs in the nesting box helped ease her nerves.

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