What is happening in my nest box???

Eliz

Songster
11 Years
May 16, 2008
141
0
119
I have 3 hens that share one nest box. They have been laying for about 6 mths. Never had a broken egg until two weeks ago. Now almost everyday at least one is broken and the box is all scratched up and the eggs sometimes are buried under the mess of pine shavings!!! What could be going on?

Could it be the rooster getting in there and tearing it up? But I have seen him neatly fluffing it for the girls. The only thing that has changed is I have not been letting the flock free range anymore. Well I just connected thier 9x12 pen to a fenced 1/2 acre for more room. Maybe they got board? Anyone experienced this?
 

Mahonri

Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 14, 2008
30,365
273
466
North Phoenix
My Coop
Do you think one of them has turned into an egg eater? It happens.
 
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Eliz

Songster
11 Years
May 16, 2008
141
0
119
No not really because the eggs are cracked just slightly. Only one time did an egg get it hard enough to seep some of the insides out and then it was a very small amount.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,954
13,878
707
Southeast Louisiana
My first thought was a predator, but with the eggs just cracked, not broken, I don't think so. I assume they are getting a balanced diet with access to calcium and the egg shells are normal thickness. And I assume your pine shavings are thick enough to cushion the egg.


With the box scratched up, does a cat or some other animal have access to the nest box? Or do you just mean the pine shavings are scratched around? If it's just the shavings, sounds like they may be bored or looking for food (scratch, bugs) in the nest.
 

LadyShred

Songster
10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
145
0
119
Alabama
The hens are probably scratching around in the box trying to find a comfortable position. And quite possibly kicking and scratching the eggs in the process. I have a brown red bantam hen that loves to kick her eggs around in the nest, yet she doesn't seem to realize what she's doing. Sometimes they crack that way. Egg-eaters would devour the whole egg and not leave a bit of it there. I have about 4 hens with that problem!

And all my hens are the same age (about 2 years) and have never grown out of it. Just their personality, I guess
 
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