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Sitting in the nesting box, but not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marcid, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. marcid

    marcid Out Of The Brooder

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    I posted last week about my australorp Mrs Toadflax, that seems to be spending time in the nesting box and not laying eggs. (I posted under egg binding title). Best I can infer, she laid an egg two weeks ago Sunday (I believe her first) and since then I've noticed her at least five times spending a good chunk of time in the nesting box but not laying an egg. I always go check after she leaves because I'm worried about her!

    She's acting totally normal (as normal as I know as a first time chicken owner). I guess it's possible she's laying at other times but every time I see her in there---no egg. [​IMG]

    I'm a stay at home mom with only four chickens. We've been getting 2 eggs a day for about a week now total. Mostly we see our two orpingtons laying. We have a second australorp I've yet to see in the nesting box. But I'm worried about Mrs Toadflax.

    All chickens are 25 weeks old today.

    Help! I'm concerned. This does not seem normal!
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Does she puff up and screech at you if you put your hand near? Has she plucked any of her breast feathers?
    I'm thinking maybe she might be broody (wanting to hatch chicks). Its not unheard of for them to do that after only laying a couple of eggs!
     
  3. marcid

    marcid Out Of The Brooder

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    I have never reached in there while she was on the nesting box. Should I try it? Excuse my newness to this, but I didn't know they could be broody over no egg. There are fake eggs in the boxes, could she be broody over them?

    She free ranges a lot of the day and doesn't seem to be obsessed with the nesting box. But it just seems like every time I check there is no egg!

    Appreciate your advice.
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    They sure can be broody without any eggs! Some of mine have even tried to hatch rocks! If you've got fake eggs, she'll gladly sit on them.

    But, I may be a little confused. Is she sitting in there a lot or just checking them out? If shes just investigating, thats pretty normal for new layers. Its also pretty normal for them to lay an egg and then not lay another for quite some time.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    A couple of my pullets seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time sitting the nest but no egg...sometimes several times a day. One spent a good couple hours in there and then laid the egg on the floor a bit later.

    They're just figuring things out.
     
  6. marcid

    marcid Out Of The Brooder

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    I would say she sits in there for 30 minutes or so at a time. I have observed her doing this at least five times.

    I guess it's so different from the other two that are currently laying. They are like a consistent little egg factory and have never done anything unusual.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    If she is a new egg layer I wouldn't worry too much. Her body is just getting in sync with laying and it's not uncommon for new layers to lay an egg then stop for awhile before laying another. I have birds even older ones that will get in a nest box and be in it for awhile and not lay an egg. Since your pullet is free ranging a good part of the day and not in the nest box then I don't suspect that she has gone broody. Her body is just adjusting to laying. As she gets older she should start laying more regular. Some birds start to lay sooner than others. I have some Heritage breeds that didn't start laying until they were 8 to 9 months (32 to 36 weeks) old. Most birds start laying 20 to around 24/26 weeks, some a little sooner and some a little later.
     
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes I think new layers like to sit in the nest boxes and contemplate things for a while. It's like.."Hmm, this is a nice little spot. I might just sit here and flick straw all over myself for a bit. I wonder if that weird thing is going to shoot out of my butt again today? No, I won't let it! I'm going to hold it in! Hmmm, more straw....." You get the picture, ha ha!

    I have some girls that are all business. They get in the nest, lay the egg, and get the heck out of there. Others, like my BO, sit on the eggs for up to two hours after laying. Some go and sit in the nest, get out, go back and sit, get out again, fluff around for a bit, and then get in and lay their egg. They are all different [​IMG]

    I'm sure she is fine. She's just finding her way in the world. Give her a little time and I'm sure she'll come good.

    - Krista
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking of getting a game camera to mount over the nests to see who is laying and who is the freeloaders. Our BO started laying last month would like to know which is laying the jumbo egg. Also find out which of the older ones is having the problem laying.

    All are wearing leg bands so the color game cam would be easiest way to tell who is doing what. Just messing around to get it mounted at the right angle for hen identification. Would be funny to see the nutty things they do on the nest too.
     

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