Chicken Newbie Question...

ritaweedaJanuary 28, 2014

Last year we started keeping chickens, we have 4 (New Hampshire Reds) Hubby built them a coop with 5 nest boxes and a large outdoor run. Almost every day at least one of the eggs is in the run on the ground. All the others are always in one nest box, very seldom in the others. So obviously they are taking turns laying in the one. Is this the way it usually goes? I'm thinking that the ones on the ground are because the one favorite nest box is in use, but then again I don't think chicken. But why wouldn't they simply go to one of the other ones?

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Sumatra(6)

Some chickens have favorite areas and if a certain nest box is occupied, they would rather lay on some other area. In your case, that's somewhere in the run. It's frustrating, but normal chicken behavior. Perhaps adding a golf ball or two in the unused nests would help? If the chicken is fooled into thinking it's an egg, she'll consider it safe since some other 'hen' has laid there, and she will (hopefully) lay there too.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 5:24PM
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saffron_parasol(4a WI)

Yes! Great idea with the golf ball! When my hens were young, they would sometimes lay eggs on the coop floor, or pile them all in one nestbox, or sometimes eat them. I got some of those fake easter eggs that you can put toys in, filled them with sand and taped them shut, and put one in each nest box. The hens started using the boxes, and stopped eating the eggs, because when they peccked at the fake ones, they couldn't break them and seemed like they decided it was too much trouble and gave the habit up altogether.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:17AM
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ritaweeda

We've had the golf balls in each nest box from day one. Well, now that I see it's normal behavior I won't be concerned but whenever I see an egg anywhere except for the nest box I can't bring myself to bring it in the house, especially not when it's been lying in the dirt. I give those to the dog.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Jean Bo

There is a great forum for Chicken lovers called Backyardchicken.com you will find great people and so much help in every aspect. There is also Mypetchicken too! Enjoy I just started with chickens last year and it's killing me not to go crazy and get a ton of them. So much fun........

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Babybird60

First timer and eggs in the bator, day 24 and just the first egg pipping.... should we add water now.... its a still incubator, followed instructions for model and eggs at 99.5 since day 1, but today water is about gone.. since pipping started can I open and add more water or leave it be?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:10AM
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Jean Bo

Well I am no expert but will try to help...first off I would say yes add the water cause if there is no humidity in there there is no chance of loosing what you don't have. I filled the entire bottom of my bator and I had droplets on the roof but my meter still read lower numbers sorry Dont remember the number. But all 3 silkies came out perfect.
Second I am going to guess your temps must have been lower than you think, I have learned that you go into lock down at 18 days and they start hatching on day 21. They could come day early or day late but you are on day 24. It is chickens were talking about right?

Also if you have a perforated slippery floor try and put something in there so they don't injure their legs. One of mine got spradle leg due to slippery floor. I was able to fix it over time but just want to safe you the same problem.
I got some perforated rubber sheets from the dollar store for next time. Use paper towel in a pinch I guess. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:19AM
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