What's on my

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ImaFarmerNow, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. ImaFarmerNow

    ImaFarmerNow Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2012
    We are new to the chicken game. We ordered one of those 50 of whatever didn't get ordered that week specials and I hatched 15 in my classroom. Maybe not the best way to start out, but it has been interesting learning about all the different kinds of chickens. We learned too late that the first roo we ate were some kind of exotic birds. Woops! Oh well, we are learning. We got all our babies just before Easter and are up to 8-16 eggs a day. We have a few problems. They lay eggs all over the coop, only a few in the nesting boxes. Second, they all roost on the nesting boxes at night and they won't hardly touch the roost except for a few seconds in the day. The third and final issue is with our eggs. Recently a few have had an oily substance on them. I don't know what it is. I thought I might be bloom on a freshly laid egg, but it doesn't seem to dry. It washes off and the eggs are fine, I just wondered if anyone knew what it was. It's kinda yucky.

    Thanks to all!!
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop

    To train them to lay in the nest boxes, try putting a few fake eggs (wooden eggs, the plastic eggs you buy around Easter time, even golf balls will work) in the nest boxes. This will give them the idea that it is a good place to lay.

    Do you have a picture of the nest boxes? Keeping in mind that laying eggs is part of the reproduction system, try to think like a hen. Since she is laying her future offspring, what she wants is a nice, safe place for them to start life. A dark, secluded place, where they are unlikely to be discovered by a predator. If you can make your nestboxes into a place that looks like the best and safest place for a chick to start its life, you are more likely to get them to want to lay there.

    Chickens like to roost in the highest place they can (the higher they are, the safer they are from predators). So, make sure your roosts are higher than your nestboxes and that is where they will choose to sleep. In the meantime, it might be best to block of the nestboxes at night. Although my roosts are higher, at one point I had a group of youngsters who were sleeping in the nestboxes because they were intimidated by the older birds on the roosts. So I took some empty feed bags and tacked them to the front of the nest boxes. During the day I'd roll them up so the layers could have access but at night, I'd roll them back down to prevent access by the youngsters. After only a few nights, I had re-trained them to the roosts and no longer needed to bother with the feedbags.

    I can't help you with the oily substance except to say the bloom should not be oily. I hope someone else has some ideas on that one.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  3. ImaFarmerNow

    ImaFarmerNow Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2012
    Thanks HEChicken! We went from 0 to 65 chickens overnight and we knew absolutely nothing. It has been trial by fire, but we're getting the hang of it and having a good time along the way. We have it backwards. Our nesting boxes are a dozen 5 gallon buckets framed in 2 stacked rows about 2 and 4 feet high, but our roosts are only a few feet up. I have tried the golf balls and even a door knob, but they must think they are bad eggs. They keep shoving them out of the boxes. We'll get the roosts up higher and see if that helps. Sounds like it should help with dirty eggs too. :0)

    I appreciate your help!


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