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Roosting question and soft egg question, and egg laid on the floor question..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Debora Cadene, May 26, 2016.

  1. Debora Cadene

    Debora Cadene New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2012
    I have a few questions for ya's all please. I built a coop last year , and designed it to hold 3 - 5 hens. My neighbor has lots of chickens and said she would lend me 3 of her layers for the summer. I have a roost inside the hen house, but since I've gotten them, none of the three sleep on it. They sleep in the shavings, and there is usually only one or two poops to clean first thing in the morning. The door to the hen house is shut once they go in for the night. In the morning I clean up any mess they make, which is minimal, and they don't sleep in their laying boxes
    .
    They've been laying their eggs daily since they came to me, but one morning there was yolk on the floor where they slept. I cleaned it up and asked the gal I got the chickens from about it and she said sometimes they form an egg with no shell and they don't know they need to and end up pooping it out. That was a few days ago, and I am not sure who did it.

    Once the girls get up and come into the run, I let them have some breakfast, which is the proper feed for them. They also have a dish of the crushed oyster shells, lots of water and a dish of scratch. After a bit they get to come out and wander around.

    Yesterday, just before supper, I put the girls back into the run, as it was raining and I had some errands to run. After supper I went out to let them back out so they could go for some bedtime snacks, I see an hard egg on the floor of the outside run. The shell was not smooth like normal, and it was dull. I had read there was no bloom. Regardless...that was a first for me as well.
    After their outside run, they put themselves back into the coop and headed up to bed. This morning I let them out at 6 and one of the girls feet and under belly were coated in yolk and shavings.

    I clean the hen house every morning when they get up, and there was busted yolk where they slept. I was able to catch her and pick most of it off her feet and some off her feathers.

    Should I be adding something else to their food, or getting them some yogurt and oatmeal or cod liver oil?
    The girls are fairly friendly, and although they don't let you pick them up, will come up and get a treat. One of the three is a bit skittish, but will still come close enough.
    I don't give to many treats, and if I do I try and make it veggies. I've given them some left over cooked oatmeal before and they devoured it.

    Is there something else I can do for their odd egg laying habit right now.
    And how the heck do I get them to roost at night in their hen house?
    Should I make them stay in their run for the day to see if they regulate and get back on track??

    Yes, I am new to this, but in my head, I'm giving them everything I think they need in regards to a healthy diet, as well as a safe place to live.

    Please feel free to add your 2 cents worth.
     
  2. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    If you are feeding layers feed, then don't worry, a soft shell egg happens sometimes.

    Do they normally use the nest boxes to lay? If so, give them a proper scrub and clean out and replace the bedding.

    You can try putting them on the roosts on a night time, but to be honest, they won't come to any harm so i wouldn't sweat it.

    CT
     
  3. Johnhutch

    Johnhutch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2016
    My hens refuse to use a nesting box so they have a corner in the coop where they have shoved a bed of shaving and they all lay there... I'm thinking not to interfere... I took the nesting box out the coop since they kept taking the hay out of it n putting it on the floor...
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    A dish of scratch......always there?
    What type of feed are you giving.....is it available all the time?
    Bedtime snacks?

    A balanced poultry ration will give them all the vitamins and minerals they need, but if they don't eat enough of it because of others foods....well.....

    I'd go with only the poultry ration and water all day...nothing else but maybe a small bit of scratch once a day.
    Although if the other birds are laying fine, it may just be that bird has something wonky with her system.

    Oh and Welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  5. Debora Cadene

    Debora Cadene New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2012
    Thank you for your replies.
    Yes, there is small dish of the wheat/corn scratch, a huge hanging feeder of the layers feed, another huge container of water, and a small dish of the oyster shells.

    I don't give lots of treats, but when I do, they are healthy ones. But I will cut back even more, so they are eating more of their food and not the treats.

    When they are ranging though....they are eating grass and bugs, and not their food. Is there enough balanced nutrition out in the yard for them? I have been gathering them up around 7 pm, so they can nibble on the feed, and i don't let them out till I see they've eaten out of the feeder as well.

    And yes, they've been using their nesting boxes since they got here. The one egg on the floor was a first.

    I do have one hen that really, really takes her time in the nesting box though. I bet she's been there for a couple of hours now. Is that normal. The other two just do their business and get out. When they are in the yard, they do come back to the nesting boxes to lay.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    I'd cut out the scratch all together, feed should be available all day and should be fine along with foraging.

    Normal for some to spend a lot of time laying.....or lounging around their lay time.
    I have some that will go in there and sit for an hour and not lay, then go back later and produce, after some more lounging.
    Others go in once a day be done laying and gone back out in 15 minutes.
     
  7. Debora Cadene

    Debora Cadene New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2012
    The feed is available all day, but they are so busy digging for bugs, they don't come back in to eat their feed. They come back to lay, and then its out and about again. Today is drizzly out. The two don't care, but the one that is on the nest, is just taking her time. I rounded them up and put them back in the run for a while. I'll let them back out when the third one comes back down. Thanks bunches!!
     

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