Rogue hen!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AlletahG, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. AlletahG

    AlletahG In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2014
    My neighbor called me today to say one of my hens has been hanging around her porch steps lately and may be leaving eggs there. I went to take a peek, and sure enough there were 8 eggs in hidden in a spot just under the porch steps. The hen isn't broody, she just decided she likes that place better than the nest box. Which leads me to these questions:

    How do I break this bad habit? I am guessing I need to confine the rogue hen to the run for a while, but for how long?

    Are the eggs safe to eat? Four of the eggs were cracked, so I tossed them, but the others were surprisingly intact. I live in CT, where there is still a ton of snow on the ground and night time temps have been below freezing. The last couple of days have been in the 40s and 50s. I hate to throw out those last 4 eggs if they are safe to eat, keeping in mind that the oldest one could have been sitting there for over a week (although I would imagine the cracked eggs had been frozen, so the intact eggs were probably laid over the past few days when things warmed up a bit).

    I have 5 hens and two nest boxes. They don't normally seem to mind sharing, and sometimes I'll find two hens sitting in the same box -- next to an empty box, of course -- and seeming perfectly happy.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chirping

    Jan 25, 2015
    I would confine the hen for at least a week, as for the eggs, I wouldn't eat them. Whenever I find a hidden nest, I pitch the eggs (one time a nest had 8 eggs, all LOOKED fresh, but I wasn't sure so I pitched them) it's better to be safe than sorry, but if you are fairly certain that they are fresh, I guess you could eat them.
  3. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    How long do you imagine the eggs that people buy from grocery stores are sitting around? 1 week would certainly considered "very fresh" if you found it in Albertsons.
  4. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Songster

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    You could always float test them...if they sink they're good. You can also crack them into a small dish and check them before prep...any funny smell or anything looks off, toss 'em.
  5. AlletahG

    AlletahG In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2014
    Thanks, I will try the float test. With the amount of snow we had, I am pretty sure the hen hasn't been going over to the neighbor's for more than a week and half or so. I've noticed one chicken recently wandering around over there and sometimes ending up in our front yard where I would "rescue" her and put her back with her friends so she wouldn't have to walk through the snow. So, I am fairly certain the eggs that weren't cracked aren't more than a week old. More than that and they would have definitely frozen solid and cracked.

    Today none of the girls left our yard (so far). I will keep them contained for a while, at least until they've finished laying each day.
  6. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Songster

    May 14, 2014
    E Washington
    She doesn't think it is a bad habit. She thinks it is a safer place to lay her eggs probably.

    They just do that sometimes. Give her a dark, quiet spot in your yard

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