Won't lay in nestbox, lays where she roosts

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by UncleHoot, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    370
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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    I have one hen, out of 6, that will not lay her egg in the nest box. When I first moved them into their coop, she would lay in the nestbox most of the time.

    I noticed that at night, she was flying up onto a ledge (way up), but to get down, she'd practically crash onto the coop floor (or walls), and she would lay her egg up on the ledge. Most of the time, it would fall off and crack. So, I closed off the ledge, and added a couple more roosts. Now, she uses the roosts, but she still plops her egg wherever she happened to roost that night. At least it doesn't always crack now.

    She CONSISTENTLY lays the first egg of the day. I'm not even sure when it happens. I show up in the coop 1 hr after the coop light comes on, and her egg is already out. I really wonder if she lays in her sleep.

    I added fake eggs to the nestboxes, thinking that because she was first, maybe she needed some help knowing where to lay. Well, I got the rest of the girls to lay in different nests, but not her.

    I really don't know if this is relevant, but she's an ISA Brown, and she always lays very large, and slightly misshapen (bulged) eggs.

    Anyway, I'm out of ideas. Anyone else ever have this problem?
     
  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    i call hens like that bombers because they lay eggs from the roosts.the way you can break her of that is put her in a pen for a 2 or 3 wks.an put a nestbox in with her.but do not put a roost in there.you want to keep her on the ground.an teach her to lay in nest.
     
  3. Bawkadoodledoo

    Bawkadoodledoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2008
    Central MA
    she must be having wet dreams if she lays eggs while sleeping!
     
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I'm wondering if she is laying before the light comes on! I had trouble with mine not wanting to lay in the nest boxes and it was because it was to dark in the coop. How much moonlight, yardlight, etc. gets into the coop? If not much, set the timer a little earlier or put in a small nightlight bulb and leave it on all night and see what happens.
     
  5. I have one hen that does the same thing the others lay either in the nests or under the nests where the hay is thick,but one always lays just where it will fall in all the poop.I tried fake eggs but she still lays off the top roost.
     
  6. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    370
    6
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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Thanks for the ideas. First, I'll try adjusting the light to come on earlier. It used to come on at 3am during the darkest part of the winter, and she was more inclined to lay in a nestbox. Now I have it set to 6am.

    Regardless, they will all (hopefully) be exiting the coop soon and going into their summer home: a PVC tractor. But first, I have to figure out what to use for nesting boxes...
     
  7. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    If it used to come on earlier and she laid in the boxes then, I wouldn't be at all surprised that she starts using it again when you change it to come on earlier!
     
  8. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    370
    6
    141
    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    I set the light to come on at 4am (instead of 6am) and bingo! This morning I had an egg in the nestbox!

    Unfortunately, they're all moving outside at some point in the next 2 weeks, and I wasn't planning on giving them a night-light. I guess I'll just have to see how that all goes...
     
  9. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I'm glad you were able to solve the problem so easily. Maybe when they go outside there will be enough light from other sources that you won't need to put in a nightlight?
     

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