1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

What to do about Pip??!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ninabeast, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I have ten hens of four breeds, 23 weeks old. Five are laying and three others are squatting. That's all fine and good; everyone's on schedule. I have more than adequate nesting boxes, very inviting, comfortable and private, which four of the five laying hens are using, no problem. I have fake eggs in the nesting boxes.

    Then there's Pip. Pip is a Light Brahma who has been laying for, say, ten days. She's laid about 5-6 eggs. If she feels the urge to lay while free ranging, she wiggles her way into a thicket of vines at the entrance of the barn, and I have to fish her out. If I restrict her to the coop/run, she will lay from atop the roosts. I SWEAR. She'll pace back and forth, and eventually drop her egg onto the chicken wire which covers the poop pit below. Only one egg has been salvaged by the chicken wire; two other have been cracked, and her egg today was completely destroyed because she aimed it between the poop pit and the wall. I was able to retrieve the shell, but the contents are unreachable. That should be a lovely smell in a day or two.

    Once, she even succeeded in landing her egg INSIDE the feeder, which is a PVC feeder with 2" round openings. I was pretty impressed by that.

    She has ample mentors in the coop to show her how it's done, and there are plastic eggs in the nesting boxes. Short of restricting her to the nesting boxes themselves (which would necessitate keeping the other hens out, as it's one communal box), what can I do? It's not that it's a communal box, because I had a private one-sie practice nest and she rejected that too...

    How do you solve a problem like Pip?
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Haven't had that problem so far (thank God!)...that's a stumper!
    Do you have a small pet crate or something you can put her in? Put her in there for a couple days (or more?) with nesting material, food, water. Let her lay her egg in there & let her out when she's done? Then, hopefully, when she gets used to laying in there, take out the food & water, take the door off & put it in the coop & see if she'll automatically go in & start laying there. It sounds reasonable to me, but then I've never really tried to reason with a chicken...at least not that I'm going to tell anyone about!
    I do, however, NOT let mine out of their coop/run until the afternoon, after they have laid their eggs. I may have to start locking up the pullets that are close to laying to make sure they get the hang of the nest box, but so far so good. I hate having egg hunts on a 2 acre playing field!
    Good luck with her. Looking forward to see how you remedy this!
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Quote:I hear ya! And I agree, this is a stumper. Short of locking her into a situation where she must lay in a nest box, then letting her free once she does, I haven't a clue.
  4. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    By Jove, I think she's got it!!! She CAN be taught!! And thank goodnes for that, because the last thing I needed is a coopful of young hens with a taste for eggs...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by