Hen laying while sleeping/roosting?

maiaa(z8 OR)October 22, 2009

I have a hen that appears to be laying her eggs from the roost (anywhere from 2-4 feet off the ground). At first I thought she was just nesting underneath the roosts and laying eggs . . .which didn't make a lot of sense because it's pretty poopy under there, and just a few feet away it is nice and nest-like. Those eggs were still intact . . .apparently cushioned by the deep litter I have under the roosts.

The last two days I have discovered the eggs smashed onto a step-like thing I have under the higher roost. So, these eggs are definitely being dropped from above (from the roost). They are just smashed on the side that hits the wood. I think she is laying them while in the air.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? What can I do to stop it?

I always find these eggs first thing . . . so if it is not a middle-of-the-night type thing, it is first thing in the AM.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

I occasionally find an egg that has been dropped in the middle of night (or sometime between bed time and morning).
I also have a couple hens that sleep in a nesting box and I occasionally find an egg that has been laid over night. I don't know how you can stop it though. I imagine the hen is just finishing what she started and didn't finish at "normal" times for whatever reason. It's not that big of a deal.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 2:34PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I'm gonna toss out a few ideas...

Can she get to the nest boxes at all times? If not, get out there earlier and make sure she can. Make sure she has enough light to see early in the morning so she'll come down off the roosts and go to the nest boxes. Are the nest boxes open or enclosed? I've always found that chickens prefer the dark, 'hidey-hole' type nests with a nice deep layer of straw or other nesting material--they like to feel like they are hiding their nests from predators. Nesting material needs to be adequate, too--too little may discourage use of the nests. It could be that bullies are keeping her out of the nest boxes and up on a perch. Providing more nests to make it impossible for the bullies to guard them all at once can help.

If she is young and in her first season of laying, it could just be inexperience.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 7:19PM
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