why would a hen suddenly decide to hide eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by phaethona, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    I have a silver phoenix, she's about 6 months old. She started laying eggs about a month ago, we were suprised because she's classified as a poor layer, her eggs are small but she was pumping em out every day there for a while, and she always used the nesting boxes. Then it seemed like she slowed down.

    well yesterday I put a cover on our grill(its really big and drapes all over the place) and I saw her hanging out under there, looked a little closer and found one of her eggs!
    All of the hens hide out under the deck when it's hot, so now I'm wondering how many are under there(but I aint going under there to find out)

    we've been very lucky that all 11 of my chickens have laid their eggs in the nesting boxes from the very first egg, even my silver, so...
    Why would a chicken suddenly decide to lay somewhere else if they already know to use the boxes? [​IMG]

    -note: I have 11 birds and 6 nesting boxes, of the 6, they actually use 2 maybe 3 of them
     
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    She's getting ready to be a mommie! Probably getting her little nest of eggs together...Is there a rooster among them?
     
  3. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:nope, no roos [​IMG]
    I live in the suburbs of Kansas City, and the rule is up to 15 hens but no roosters unless they're kept 500 ft away from any building occupied by humans other than the owners.
    That said... I have 11 now....I think I need 3 more girls next spring... [​IMG]

    yeah I dunno, that's a good point, maybe she's trying to gather up a clutch, 'cause I've heard they can go broody sometimes even without a rooster... [​IMG]
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    When it was REALLY hot here, some of my layers who were quite used to laying in nest boxes, found a few hiding spaces to lay their eggs in the yard. I think it was because it was so danged hot in the coop, they just didn't want to go in there and lay an egg!

    Now that it's cooler, they're all laying in the nest boxes again.
     
  5. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't think it was the heat, it was about 80 yesterday [​IMG]

    this summer, anytime it hit 90 or above, I turned on my nifty chicken a/c system. I have a bathroom ceiling vent reversed to bring in outside air, it blows air from the side of the coop towards the top straight down to the floor. Then I'd put a large bowl and put two frozen jugs of water in the bowl(criss-crossed so there was a gap underneath the jugs) and put another fan up against the jugs pointed down so the air would come from outside, blow down, then the 2nd fan would pull the air down under the jugs, cooling the air and then it would blow across the nesting boxes. I changed out the ice jugs when they melted. sounds kinda odd, and probably confusing, but it really worked! it would get at least 10-15 degrees cooler in there than outside.

    and yes, I'm fully aware that I'm a nutcase and my chickens are VERY spoiled brats! [​IMG]
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    She's gotten tired of you "stealing" her eggs, and she is trying to get a clutch together so that she can go broody.
     
  7. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's what I'm starting to think it might be, even without a rooster around though?

    I guess she kind caught me off guard, I would have thought she would be the last one to go broody since she's a poor layer. I would have expected my RIRs to do that before her...
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Hens don't need roosters for eggs, they don't need roosters to go broody, either. They don't know their eggs won't hatch. Many broody hens will set on golf balls, anything vaguely round. Some will even go broody in an empty nest. It's totally hormonal.

    RIRs are not one of the breeds known to go broody much.

    Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Breed Chart at http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
    says
    this about the Phoenix breed: "can be broody, [are] protective mothers"
     
  9. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:awesome, thanks!
     
  10. newchickgurl

    newchickgurl Out Of The Brooder

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    I am having the same problem. I do have 1 hen that is brooding. For the past week or so I thought something was going on with my girls because my egg production went from 6-8 eggs a day to 1 or 2 a day. Then I found a hidden clutch of eggs under the nesting boxes that they all have used all the time. And then yesterday I found another clutch of 15 eggs in one of our garages. Not sure if I have more then one hen that wants to go brooding. This is our first spring with our hens - we got them late last summer. If you could help I would greatly appreciate it. Also does your brooding hen do alot of clucking when she is not on her nest?
     

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