Egg laying on the floor

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Tweetypie
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Egg laying on the floor

Post by Tweetypie » Sat May 26, 2018 10:34 am

My lovely two ex battery/barn hens always lay their eggs on the floor of the coop, in the straw they drag down from the nestboxes. They have only laid once in the nest box and that was the following morning we got them (2 weeks ago). Whilst I am not fussed where they lay their eggs, does anyone know the reason for this? They both lay their egg in the same place.
valeriebutterley
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by valeriebutterley » Sat May 26, 2018 12:28 pm

My girls, some quite ancient, have just decided on a change of venue for egg laying, i.e. absolutely anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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LadyA
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by LadyA » Sat May 26, 2018 5:59 pm

valeriebutterley wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 12:28 pm
My girls, some quite ancient, have just decided on a change of venue for egg laying, i.e. absolutely anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you tried giving the nest boxes a good dusting with diatom? Or it may be that they just find nest boxes a little hot and confined, if the weather is hot? Mind you, I once had a chicken who would not so much "lay" her egg, as just let it fall out wherever she happened to be walking along. she wouldn't even break her stride! I suspected there was something wrong with her "apparatus" that maybe she didn't feel the egg coming or something?
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
Margaid
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by Margaid » Sat May 26, 2018 6:10 pm

Could be because they're ex-batts and not used to a nest box. Maybe they find the nest box a bit high off the floor as you say they drag the straw down from the nest box. You could try getting some "pot eggs" - artificial eggs and put them in the nest box which may give them the right idea. Some people have had success using golf balls ...
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Marigold
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by Marigold » Sat May 26, 2018 7:15 pm

I agree with Margaid, it's most probably because they're exbatts and haven't had the chance to learn to use a nestbox, or indeed to roost in a coop and to perch overnight. Probably they've lived in confined conditions where the eggs just roll away from the floor of the cage they've been living in, so in a sense the cage is their nestbox and so they don't know what to do with all the extra bedroom space.
Do yours use the perch overnight? It's quite usual when you first get 16-week-old point of lay pullets who've always grown up in a barn to have to go down after dark and lift them on to the perch for a few nights, to trigger the perching reflex which all birds have. Another possible reason with exbatts is that their leg muscles aren't strong enough to support them on a perch, because off the overcrowded conditions they've previously been kept in. But as you say yours were well feathered and active, this is unlikely to be the case with them.

I'm down to two hens at the moment, and have arranged to get three more when I get back from our holiday next week. I was wondering, as you have plenty of room, if you had any ideas about if and when to get another couple for your flock? Its very difficult to introduce just one single hen as the others always pick on her, and similarly, it's difficult to introduce a pair to a single bird who has been left behind when her only companion died. Lovely as exbatts are, as a general rule they're not very long-lived in their new home, bearing in mind that they'll be at least 18 months old when you get them, and because they've laid so intensively they're very prone to egg laying problems such as prolapse or peritonitis which are usually fatal. So sadly it's possible that one of yours is going to pop her clogs within the next year, leaving you with a lonely singleton if you've not already got any more to keep her company.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by Tweetypie » Sun May 27, 2018 9:02 am

Hi everyone

I think it is probably right, that because they are ex batt's, they just lay their eggs where they like. It doesn't bother me too much, I was curious. They both seem to have a routine with their egg laying, too. Barbie lays her very early morning and Cindy lays hers late morning, both in the same place. I now leave Barbie's egg in the coop, until Cindy has laid hers. Doing this has "encouraged" Cindy to lay hers around 9-10 am instead of 10-12am.

Marigold - yes I have the space but at this present time I don't want any more, as this is all new to me. I may consider it early next year. I haven't had any pets for a long time and as I go away twice a year, I would need my daughter to check them daily for me - she lives 15 miles away. If I had more than two, it might prove a bit of a chore for her, unless I can find a local "chicken-sitter". :-)

They both perch overnight, apparent with all the droppings below. They have always used the perch.

Is there any way of knowing if a hen has potential "lady" problems, i.e. can a vet xray them? Just curious...
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rick
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by rick » Mon May 28, 2018 10:59 pm

I have found rubber eggs very good for encouraging egg laying in the nest. They tend to send my Legbar Mo into a broody mood but very little chance of that with commercial hybrids.
The quality of the eggs is the best measure of how well a hen is doing internally. Though there will be some glitches that shouldn't be worried about (just noted), any consistent flaws like thin shells, odd shaped eggs, blood spots in eggs, are worth special note (though you wont always be able to do anything about it.) X-ray is prohibitively expensive (£300 maybe and requiring a very risky general anesthetic too keep them still enough) - very few vets, let alone keepers, would entertain the idea and the signs of something wrong externally would provide any useful information that could be had... typically, inactive, 'fluffed up', sometimes standing in egg laying 'penguin' like stance without producing an egg - they are all very bad signs.
I almost shouldn't mention it but... you can stop a hen laying with a hormonal implant. £90 a go. Thats the kind of thing you have to resort to to maybe save them when in serious trouble (like a worn out shell gland which might regenerate/refresh if forced into a heavy moult.) They don't ask or expect that sort of intervention! ... but with a bit of luck, and an eye out for early signs that you can (maybe) do something about, and giving them the best chances - they will be having a fantastic second go at life with you!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by Tweetypie » Wed May 30, 2018 9:06 am

Hi Rick

I cannot believe this, but yesterday one of them laid an egg in the nestbox ! Hubbie thinks it is because he removed the hay from the floor whilst doing the daily clean (he usually puts some on top of the deep shavings). I think I might put one of those fake eggs in the nextbox. Need to buy one...

I weighed their eggs yesterday. Barbie laid 62 gram egg (hers are always smaller) and Cindy laid a 73 gram egg.

These ex batt's are not impressed with the rain. Its throwing it down in Nott's. They have gone back into their smaller, sheltered, run. :-)
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rick
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by rick » Wed May 30, 2018 9:44 am

Yes, the hay will be making the floor seem all good for nesting. Your hens wont be bothered about it not being dark or enclosed down there - as per their nature.
Straw is better than hay and serves the same purpose in the nest box, cosy (that may just be the impression given to us humans - classic nest like) and something to rearrange while sitting. Hay is more likely to be eaten and cause an impacted crop and is prone to fungal growth. Many don't use either, just Auboise or similar.
Good big eggs for breakfast then!
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Re: Egg laying on the floor

Post by Margaid » Wed May 30, 2018 10:09 am

Well done that hen! Do you know which one it was by the egg weight maybe? Straw is not a good idea because Redmite can hide in the hollow stems.
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