Will night-laying ever stop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by buckabucka, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New chicken owner here. I have a white leghorn, 24 weeks old. She started laying at 17 weeks, and has been consistently productive. For the past 5 weeks, she lays her egg at night. It crashes down on the poop board or floor and breaks. [​IMG] I've been able to save a couple by putting shavings on the poop boards, but usually the chickens kick the shavings around so much that it doesn't work.

    Every time she takes a day off, I am hopeful that she will start in on a daytime laying schedule, but it hasn't happened. Is it normal for some birds to only lay at night? Will she eventually become a daytime layer? I know pullets often have to work through some quirks, but it's been 5 weeks of broken eggs now.

    I appreciate any advice!

    Robin
     
  2. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    wow, tough break..no pun intended....

    I think you have to retrain your hen to lay in a nesting box, put a fake egg in it (golf ball) and then put her in the nest box, I had to train mine to use the nesting boxes too because they would just lay where ever on the ground. it took me several days, but I have movable nests so whenever they wold lay somewhere I would put a nesting box there until they got the idea. most of my chickens lay over night or early morning. When I go let them out at 7ish in the am I got 20 eggs. Good luck hope the golf ball idea works....

    what I am thinking mostly about is why is she not getting off her roost to lay her egg?? how is your coop set up? nesting boxes??
     
  3. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I'm in the same boat with a red star (sex link) for about 2 months now. She always lays in the middle of the night. I have one spot of roost that's not above a poo board and I try to make sure she's situated above that part when she goes to bed so she lays in the shavings and the egg doesn't break. Otherwise... at least I know she's a consistent layer!

    Oh, our eggcontinent chickens...

    If you figure out what works, let me know. Someone suggested locking her in the nestbox at night. I don't want her to learn to poop in the nestbox so I nixed that idea.
     
  4. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a "community" nest box (photo on my BYC page). 2 of the 4 that are laying, consistently use the box. When this leghorn first started, she laid on the floor in the coop. I watched the rooster call her over and show her to lay there! While this was cool to see, I do wish the rooster would figure out the nest box thing. He is constantly digging little nests in the corners of the coop and calling to the girls. [​IMG] At this point, I would be pleased if the leghorn lay on the floor in the corner.

    We have fake eggs and golf balls in the nest box. I assumed that the reason she is not getting off the roost to lay on the floor or in the box was because it is pitch black out (there is a small night light). Once or twice in the past 5 weeks, I did find an intact egg on the floor, and assumed she laid it early in the morning when there was a little light.

    Our speckled sussex is only on her 3rd egg, and she has laid her eggs in the same spot each time outdoors in the run. While the nest box would be ideal, I don't mind checking the run for an egg. I just don't like eggs that crash in the night!

    I'm glad to know that I am not the only one, superchemicalgirl!
     
  5. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Might want to remove the night light so she can't see at all... maybe that'll tell her it's night?
     
  6. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Isn't the egg laying involuntary? I'm not sure she would hold that egg in, even if she knew it were night.

    My approach today, was to put LOTS of wood shavings on the poop boards. The other chickens knock it around, but I'm hoping I used enough to save her egg this time. I'll know in the morning.
     
  7. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Good luck. I've had the one chicken laying at night for months, all of a sudden yesterday another chicken noticed the egg in the coop and laid next to it. Today there were SIX!!!!! eggs on the floor in the coop. [​IMG]

    I shouldn't have complained about 1 egg.

    Guess I need to pick the egg up now in the morning. I was avoiding doing that as it's still dark out here when I go out and most of the girls are still on their roosts (some of my crazy leghorns don't care that it's still technically night) and the last thing I need is to get pooped on 5 minutes before I'm supposed to leave for work.
     
  8. kakayona

    kakayona Out Of The Brooder

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    maybe hang a net under?
     
  9. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they all laying at night (and dropping the eggs from the roost)? I suppose you don't really know, if it happens before daylight. I'm hoping my other hens, when they start laying, will not follow the leghorn's lead. If my leghorn misses the poop board and the egg falls to the shavings on the floor, it still breaks. The roosts are about 4 feet off the floor. If the egg is only cracked and dented, I cook it and feed it back to them.

    Meanwhile, the speckled sussex left her 4th egg in the same exact spot outdoors in the run. They appear to be creatures of habit (even if it is bad habit).

    I'm hoping for an intact egg tomorrow morning. [​IMG]

    Robin
     
  10. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think everyone would get caught up in the net, kakayona, although I've thought about a diaper! [​IMG]
     

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