Wood chipper love story?

Wormhunter

Chirping
May 8, 2020
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I have a small flock (7) of chickens here in the uk
They were 4 months old when I got them in March so are now 10 months + and are generally happy and healthy, that is except one !
She’s called Cracker and has been a regular mischief maker, her latest activity is confusing me however
The wood chipper is in the garden covered with a large builders bag to keep the rain off
Cracker has taken to squeezing under the bag, cooing and clucking, laying an egg on the ground and then squeezing back out to join her pals in our garden free ranging , most of my 7 lay an egg every day! I collect the rather ‘muddy’ egg each morning before collecting any others in the best boxes, any ideas what’s happening and why? She doesn’t stay with the egg or build any type of nest so doesn’t apear broody as ive had with chickens years ago
?Any suggestions, should I stop her?
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
May 27, 2015
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Is she the lowest in the pecking order? Often that is the reason a hen won't lay in the coop. You can discourage secret nesting by restricting free ranging for a few days, either completely or just letting them out at end of day. Sometimes hens need to be retrained to lay in the coop.
 

Wormhunter

Chirping
May 8, 2020
135
316
83
All I can say is... LOL... I would probably put some easy to remove fencing around it though. Save the hassle and keep her safe from any sharp or dangerous bits on the machine ect
Agree with the comments, any idea what’s her motivation?
Is she the lowest in the pecking order? Often that is the reason a hen won't lay in the coop. You can discourage secret nesting by restricting free ranging for a few days, either completely or just letting them out at end of day. Sometimes hens need to be retrained to lay in the coop.
yes she’s a bit of a loner at times, , it’s called secret nesting then?
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
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She probably just thinks it's a good spot to lay an egg.

I have no idea why she likes that spot, but chickens can be weird that way.

Some make really nice nests, but many do not.

I've seen some hens that build a nest gradually. With those, each day the hen scratches a little deeper bowl in the dirt as she settles on the nest, and each day she arranges the straw (or something) around herself a little more neatly.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
May 27, 2015
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it’s called secret nesting then?
I don't know what it's called, but it's a thing. Many times people can't find these hidden nests and miss out on eggs, assume the hens aren't laying etc. Once a hen gets attached to a nesting spot, she tends to keep using it. At least you know where the eggs are. It's up to you to decide to retrain or let it be.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
It's up to you to decide to retrain or let it be.
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

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