When they lay, do you take it or leave it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by christina1982, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    May 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    My hens just started laying this week and I was wondering, what do I do with the eggs?

    My dad (who raised chickens) said you have to leave one in the box. Well before I spoke to him I was so over the top excited, I snatched that first egg up, ran across the yard, showed my family and then put it in my fridge. Does it really matter?

    Also, my Whiterock laid 3 days ago and not another egg since. I assume this is normal too?
     
  2. sj3364

    sj3364 Chillin' With My Peeps

    297
    0
    111
    Apr 21, 2011
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Lots of folks use a fake egg in the nesting box. A golf ball will work.
     
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I keep some wooden eggs in the nest box to replace the real ones I collect when the girls are young.
     
  4. Cindilou

    Cindilou Chillin' With My Peeps

    314
    1
    111
    Jan 2, 2011
    Largo, FL
    If she already knows where to lay you don't need to leave it there. I leave a golf ball or plastic egg in there for the new girls to get familiar with the proper place to lay.
    Is your white rock new to laying? Hens don't lay every single day. Most have a schedule they get on after laying for a time. a few of mine lay for 5 days and take a day off and then get back to it.
     
  5. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    May 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    Quote:She has only laid once lol.
     
  6. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    I believe most people just leave one in there so the new pullets know where to lay the eggs, if your father had alot of chickens before then they were probably of all different ages so they probably left them in there more for the young ones than the older ones that already knew the game. I guess it wouldnt hurt but I would hate to have a hen go broody over a ceramic egg lol
     
  7. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    May 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    Quote:Well I left the golf ball in there. My dad had all kind of chickens all over the place lol. While I do take his suggestions...I have backyard chickens, not a farm with chickens running ramped LOL! That why I asked the group of chicken geniuses known as BackYard Chickens people!
     
  8. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    May 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    Quote:Thank you!
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,108
    3,310
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My hens just started laying this week and I was wondering, what do I do with the eggs?

    Normally, you eat them. I do. [​IMG] Sorry, couldn't resist.

    My dad (who raised chickens) said you have to leave one in the box. Well before I spoke to him I was so over the top excited, I snatched that first egg up, ran across the yard, showed my family and then put it in my fridge. Does it really matter?

    I suggest you put a fake egg in the nest to show them where to lay. I suggest golf balls, ceramic eggs, wooden eggs, about anything the shape and size of eggs. You can use the plastic Easter eggs or ping pong balls, but I find they scratch those light things out when they are arranging the nesting material the way they like it. I tried filling an Easter egg with sand and gluing it shut, but they eventually broke it open and let the sand out. I leave a golf ball in all the time. Once they get used to laying in the nest you probably don't have to, but I never saw any problems leaving an golf ball there.

    Also, my Whiterock laid 3 days ago and not another egg since. I assume this is normal too?

    It is not all that unusual when a pullet starts to lay for her to be irregular. You can get odd shaped eggs or her schedule may be erratic. Most seem to sort it out pretty well, but some may take a week or two to work the kinks out of the internal egg laying factory. It is a fairly complicated process.

    It is also possible she is laying somewhere other than the nest. I would look around for another nest just to be sure. It is also possible something is eating the eggs. A normal suspect if they are disappearing without a trace is your dog, if it has access. Odds are she is just erratic, but I'll just mention these as a possibility.

    Good luck! That first egg is exciting.
     
  10. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    May 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    Quote:Thanks for the help, even the sarcasm LOL!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by