We have our first eggs!!!...getting her to lay in nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Araylee, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Araylee

    Araylee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2010
    I'll post pics later, but in a nutshell, my BO pullet has been escaping daily for the last two weeks. It's been warm and the grass in their pen is a little dry, and I thought she was getting out so she could eat the long lush grass on the "OTHER SIDE"...anyway, today I found her (outside!) sitting on her nest of SEVEN eggs!! I'm not sure if she just laid, or was getting ready to lay, but she got up as soon as I came to check her out, so I don't think she was trying to incubate them. So...this hen's been laying for a good week or more and I had no idea! I'm not sure if they are still ok to eat, or how to tell, or if they are starting to develop...she was with a rooster three weeks ago but we got rid of him...neighbor complained! Now what?? How to I get her to lay where she's supposed to?! I put a golf ball in a few days ago and tried stuffing her in it yesterday, she wasn't impressed. Is there such a thing as one being too small? What kind of nest material do I need??

    I'm so egg-cited...and also afraid to eat the eggs! WWYD??
    Thanks!
     
  2. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    ok, you can tell if the eggs are fertilized by cracking one open, if there's a little dot in the middle they are fertilized. You can tell if they are still good to eat by following these steps;
    1. get a large bowl/pot full of water
    2. put the egg in it
    3. watch the egg. does it float? if it lays on it's side at the bottom it is fresh, if it stands on an end at the bottom it is still good to eat but eat it soon, and if it floats don't eat it!
     
  3. abejita

    abejita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    I am afraid of this happening too, LOL! I just know that if one of my girls decides to lay in the yard while they are out, I won't even have a chance of finding it. I know my dog will find it before me. I always go out and make a 'sweep' before I let the dog out.
     
  4. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    New Jersey
    Congrats how egg-citing [​IMG]
     
  5. Araylee

    Araylee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Thanks!
    My nest boxes have 9x5' openings and I think 11x11 or 12x12 inside, but I was thinking that they are off the floor a bit...should I put a 2x4 or something up so they can get in easier?? I'm really afraid to do the egg float test and have them be rotten and me not know...it's been mid-90's some of these days, and I have no clue how old the oldest eggs are! [​IMG] I feel so silly, I was reading all the "how to know when your pullet is getting ready to lay" threads, I'd noted that she was squatting for me, had dark red wattles and comb, and was escaping the pen daily. I thought the "wandering" was because she was getting ready to lay, not because she had found a spot, LOL! I've been walking back and forth across the whole pen, looking in the coop...thinking "She HAS to be getting ready soon, maybe today will be the day!" HAHAHA! So, for those that wait...be alert for sneaky chickens!
     
  6. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    float each of the eggs then you'll know which are the oldest ones. I know how you feel, one of my chickens seemed ready so I took a sweep of their area and found that she had layed behind the bamboo bed, luckily I only found one egg instead of 7!
     
  7. Araylee

    Araylee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2010
    mmmm...well I did the float test and MAYBE the smallest egg tipped a little on it's side, but no floaters... so we're going to try frying some up to try! ...hoping for tasty eggs and no rotten egg stink! I did candle them and all of them looked really porous and I saw a couple of dark floaty bits in the middle that I HOPE were yolks...eek! [​IMG] Why it is so scary when they came from my chicken's butt but not when buying from the store?!

    Thanks so much!
     
  8. IF your hen was actively around your rooster and IF your roo was of age then the hen can hold his "fertilization" for up to a month but usually the fertility goes down considerably after 2 weeks. So there is always the possibility that those could be developing. You can always bust one open to see. Once you take those eggs your hen will seek out a new nest. Hopefully she'll find the one in your yard where you want her to lay. Best of wishes to you.
     
  9. Araylee

    Araylee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Hmm, miss O was quite disgruntled that I took her eggs. I tried locking her in the coop until she laid, but she absolutely refused. At 2pm I gave in and let her out, and she RAN to her nest spot...and clucked, and clucked, and turned, and sat, and turned, and sat...and half an hour later, was still turning, trying to get comfy, lining the nest with grass...I got bored and left her alone, only to find that she had MOVED! An hour later she was hiding in some tall grass/brush, almost invisible, and I moved her to find a nice warm egg. Is it normal for hens to be sooooooo concerned about nest placement?? She didn't appear to be in any hurry to leave her cozy hideaway!If I give her fertile eggs is she likely to set? I've got my eye on some of those bright blue and chocolate brown egg-layers!

    In the meantime I'm going to eat a sausage egg n cheese sandwhich for lunch!
     

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