New point of lay hens

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10 months 1 week ago #558752 by smudge
New point of lay hens was created by smudge
I have two young hens that have started laying in the last two weeks. They are brown shavers. They are laying on the floor of the coop instead of the nesting boxes tat previous generations have laid in. will they work it out or do I need to do some intervention? The biggest issue is they seem to be laying from their perch as the shells are a bit smashed up. I have a Rhode Island red rooster in there with them also.

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10 months 4 days ago #558775 by smudge
Replied by smudge on topic New point of lay hens
No chook advice?

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10 months 4 days ago - 10 months 4 days ago #558776 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic New point of lay hens
You could try a few things. False eggs in the nest box, change the litter you have in the nestbox so it's nice and fresh and inviting, Put a reasonable sized bin with nesting material on the floor near the proper nest boxes and if they continue to lay by dropping them on the floor, then remove the perches for a while. The big danger of them dropping to the floor and breaking will train them to break the eggs for a free meal that can become a habit very quickly.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
Last edit: 10 months 4 days ago by Stikkibeek. Reason: typo

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10 months 4 days ago #558777 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic New point of lay hens
try putting a box on the floor for a while until they get used to laying in in one place. If you don't need the rooster, remove it as it may be defending the boxes.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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10 months 2 days ago #558781 by duckDuckGooseNZ
It could just be that while they are laying now, they arent at all broody - which they shouldn't be because it's winter - and maybe the warm autumn has put them into lay out of season, and also because they are young birds they don't have any feelings or urges around nurturing or caring for the eggs, so just let them drop where they do. So maybe trying putting some nice Nesbitt areas or otherwise just collecting the eggs straight away as soon as you find them so they don't get it into their head to start eating them and also offering them the usual food if possible so that there is always food there and let them work it out for themselves. They will probably start laying eggs in the nest box come spring .

Also what kind of food have you been giving them? Have you been giving them high-protein high calcium layer feed?

If so maybe switch to a grower feed instead which is lower protein and calcium and offer them oyster shell grit, but in a separate bowl to the feed so there is not extra protein stimulating them to lay out of season, and not extra calcium unless they choose to eat it. I've read some studies that show that birds at or close to laying age can actually be brought into lay by feeding them layer feed, yet it seems most people feed their chickens layer feed year round, even though chickens don't lay year around. And that isn't good for the birds, they need to have a break out of season where they are not Laying.

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10 months 1 day ago #558785 by WoodyChip
Replied by WoodyChip on topic New point of lay hens
I think the rooster may dominate the area, especially if he has been around for a while. Give them new, alternative nesting places throughout the hen house.

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10 months 20 hours ago #558788 by smudge
Replied by smudge on topic New point of lay hens
I've done most of the things suggested. I haven't used fake eggs but i have been moving their eggs into the nesting boxes. I've made a new nesting box that's on the floor of the coop but about 100mm off the floor. I have cleaned out the old nesting boxes and filled with plenty of clean dry wood shavings. Norty chooks!

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10 months 4 hours ago #558789 by WoodyChip
Replied by WoodyChip on topic New point of lay hens
Smudge - you seem to have your hands full. I do hope that they finally deliver the eggs where they are meant to. You have made a ton of effort! Best of luck.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #558819 by WoodyChip
Replied by WoodyChip on topic New point of lay hens
How's the egg laying going there?

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9 months 2 weeks ago #558820 by smudge
Replied by smudge on topic New point of lay hens
Thanks for all the info and follow up guys. I only need two hens and it was getting expensive to keep all the chooks I had for one or two eggs a week.

I've been in Rarotonga for a 11 days so was keen to see how they were getting on. Our house sitter did a great job of looking after the place but he didn't collect any eggs over the last few days. Today I had what looks to be a double yolk egg but best of all there was a hen sitting on the nesting box I put on the coop floor. She got off when I through in some left over food scraps so I collected the six eggs and put the double yoker in the nesting box. An hour later there was a shiny new egg in their so at least one of them is learning.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #558822 by WoodyChip
Replied by WoodyChip on topic New point of lay hens
Hope you has a fabulous trip? Well, that sure sounds like a warm welcome home and that times are changing!

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9 months 2 weeks ago #558823 by smudge
Replied by smudge on topic New point of lay hens
Two eggs from two hens this morning. One soft shell outside the nesting box and another that had most likely been laid from a perch onto the coop floor. I will keep working on it :)

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9 months 1 week ago #558841 by WoodyChip
Replied by WoodyChip on topic New point of lay hens
Don't give up!

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8 months 4 weeks ago #558876 by smudge
Replied by smudge on topic New point of lay hens
I've had chickens for many years but these ones were stubborn. One hen is laying in the nesting boxes, the other is laying an egg at around 6.30am while it's dark and she is on the roost and her eggs are still hitting the floor of the coop. I expect the situation will resolve itself as the days get longer. In the meantime the eggs have something soft to land on

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8 months 4 weeks ago #558877 by duckDuckGooseNZ
Id be surprised if you dont have a few broody hens laying in the nests in another month or so. My ducks are all just laying wherever they happen to be standing atm,

but come spring I know from experience they will all be carefully shaping out nests to lay in... (pity all the drakes are going to be locked away in another run where they cant fertilise anything by then!)

I have found my older ducks who are experienced mums are more likely to lay in a nest than younger ones of laying during winter, but even they will sometimes just expel an egg into a pile of mud, or worse their swimming pond!).

I always thought chickens were much more responsible about that than ducks though (from random conversations with friends with chooks)

Is it possible to block off higher perches during winter and put loads of hay under lower ones so if they lay in their perch the eggs don't get broken?

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