RR won't lay with the rest of the flock!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hancockchickens, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. hancockchickens

    hancockchickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2013
    Hancock, Maine
    Polly has some sort of a complex, I'm sure.

    But, I was just wondering, do any of your chickens refuse to lay in the coop or nesting box? We have a community box where the girls take turns or lay side-by-side every morning. It also makes for a good snuggling area on cold rainy days here up North. Polly, our RR, recently started laying (late bloomer, I guess?) and laid her first two or three eggs in the box with the others.

    Then her strange behavior started. She started trying to bust down the door to get into my kitchen! She was squawking uncontrollably and completely inconsolable. No scratch grains or tomatoes could shut her up. Then she took off across the yard to the plywood shed we keep our wood pellets in, and so I put shoes on and followed her. I couldn't find her for a few minutes until I heard a faint purring noise...There she was, surrounded by power tools, fencing, trash bags, etc....excavating furiously. And it was there that she laid her egg.

    Now she won't lay anywhere else! I can't stand the sound of her pathetic squawking and frantic pacing. I have even tried making her a private box just outside the shed, but to no avail. She wants in...or just wants privacy maybe? Today I put a little hay in her little hole in the ground to try to get her to associate laying with being in hay (which is in the nesting box).

    And our nesting box is HUGE! it's like 3 feet wide, and the other girls only lay in one corner, she has all the rest to herself. I don't know what to do, I'm at a total loss. I fear if I close the shed up and ignore her, she'll just go lay in the woods somewhere and we'll never see her eggs again. And what do we do in the winter time!? Have you ever seen a chicken wading through waddle-deep snow?

    Any help is so much appreciated! How do we cure her laying anxiety?! [​IMG]
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I had a production red that did that for a few months. I just made a nest out of a cardboard box and a handful of hay, and let her do her thing. Eventually she returned to the regullar nesting boxes. I could have locked her in the coop, I suppose, but I'm not going to do that. I still have one hen, a different one, who is more or less a "loner." She is usually found a little distance from the flock, and doesn't cuddle right up to the others on the roost. She used to insist on sleeping in another spot in the coop but finally decided to sleep on the roost.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by