What to do about bad laying habits or is it something else?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dotknott, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2016
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    Howdy folks.

    Sunday afternoon my husband called me from the coop.. asking if we were missing any ceramic eggs. I told him that one had gone missing about a year ago, but other than that none had gone missing recently. I headed out to see what was up and he pointed out something that DEFINITELY looked like an egg, small dab in the middle of the stream, about 6 ft away and 2 ft underwater. After a bit of back and forth, with him deciding that it was obviously the ceramic egg that went missing some time ago, he grabbed a stick and started to roll it along the stream bed. About 2 ft away from the shore he smacked it pretty hard and found that it was the real deal.

    Fast forward to this morning. I relent, after having the ducks on house arrest for laying eggs in the stream, and let them out. They immediately run to the stream and start their playing/bathing/preening/courtship rituals. As I’m sitting there watching, I realize that there’s another egg in the water. This ones much closer, so I grab a hand rake from the shed and try to fish it out with out falling in (successfully!) The one I pulled out this AM looks like it had been there for a while, unless bloom does weird things when it only has contact with water..

    So.. What are my options to remedy this? It appears that I either have a duck that lays in the stream, or I have a bumbling egg thief that is dropping eggs that laid in the coop during the day and STOLEN. How do I id the actual issue? Ideas are VERY welcome!
     
  2. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. cyriuskee

    cyriuskee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Savannah, GA
    How old are your hens? Young hens will often just drop an egg anywhere, as though theyre not aware that theyre going to drop one til it drops.
    Try putting them out to the stream only after everyone has laid. In my case I've found that my pekins lay anytime between sunrise and noon.
    Double check for any more eggs in the stream first so you don't mistake any old ones for new eggs and that may also help dispel any notions that your hens have that if there's eggs in that spot it must be a good place to lay haha.
    If you get a little game cam you may catch the culprit in the act!
     
  4. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had them penned for a full 24 hours yesterday! I hate doing that to them.. especially since they can see the stream from the pen. Maybe I'll bring out some of the previously collected eggs and put them back in the boxes... I can then keep count and if some go missing, it's because of a thief.. and maybe the stream layer will get the hint.

    I do hope I don't find any more eggs in the stream, that water is COLD and with the snow/sleet/freezing rain we got yesterday the water is rising right now. There was definitely a layer of Ice over still parts of the stream this AM.

    There's 5 gals right now, 4 of which are less than 1 year old. 1 will be 3 this spring. I didn't expect to have anyone else start to lay this late in the year.. In my experience if the first year gals don't start by October they don't start until March.
     
  5. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2016
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    Some more info on this:

    We have a pretty regular schedule right now. In the run with an evening meal by 6, locked in the house @ 9. Out in the AM by 8:30. I work full time, so there's no waiting until noon unless they don't go out at all.. Which as I've mentioned, I've done.
     
  6. cyriuskee

    cyriuskee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Savannah, GA
    The only way i know of to incentivize the location they lay is keep a couple of eggs in the coop where they lay in there. Or keeping them in the coop, which doesn't sound like fun for them with the stream right there. Try feeding them right before you leave for work so they voluntarily are in the coop a little longer.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Goodness........My friends Hen only lays her eggs in the kiddie poop or the large livestock bowl.......Strange, very strange.........


    Sounds more like a habit?.............Silly Ducks.



    Cheers!
     

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