Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Popular Nest

with 4 comments

We have four nest boxes in the coop for the hens to lay their eggs. History has revealed the box closest to the chicken door is the most popular.

I suppose when ya gotta lay, the first box might be a welcome necessity.

Cyndie is suspecting we’ve got a rogue who has chosen a spot other than the coop, based on the daily total of eggs collected falling a little short of expectations. She reports a pattern of suspicious chicken “call-outs” that frequently occur post egg-laying now emanating from a location other than the coop.

A cursory survey yesterday afternoon didn’t provide any evidence supporting her theory, but the fact this situation has occurred twice before feed our belief it is not only possible, but likely.

I told her she should let Delilah search using her incredible scent-detecting nose, but then we both felt a hesitancy over offering any encouragement to our intrepid tracker for predatory behavior toward our chickens or the eggs.

If it turned out to be just one hen choosing a remote location, that wouldn’t be such a big deal. Since the egg counts have seemed to be down by more than one a day this week, we are a little concerned that allowing this behavior to go unchecked might inspire more hens to participate in laying eggs in a nest of their own making.

Maybe it is unlucky we’ve seen such little evidence of predator pressure on this latest brood of birds and it has nurtured a complacency about their level of risk. Sure, they are domestic chickens, but they need to realize they are living in the midst of actual roaming wildlife.

A lone hen sitting on a nest in the woods of the neighbor’s property behind our shop garage (where Cyndie senses the familiar clucking outbursts have been coming from) will be no match for the fox that has been caught on the trail cam crossing onto our land from nearby.



Written by johnwhays

April 7, 2021 at 6:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. When mine start “laying rouge”, I leave them in the coop for a day or two (provide some cabbages or other entertainment!). They are then forced to lay inside and I find that is typically enough to break the rouge habit.


    April 7, 2021 at 8:30 am

    • We are wishing we had a bit more floor space for this solution, as our coop is optimized for roosting overnight, but crowded for all day confinement, especially since they are used to roaming several acres every day.
      Thanks for sharing your experience!


      April 7, 2021 at 11:45 am

      • Can you create a temporary yard out of chicken wire? Or maybe your wildlife is too aggressive. We have been fortunate to not deal with many predators lately…I’m probably getting complacent…😜


        April 7, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      • Ah, yes, good point! Like we had when they were young and first moved to the coop. We could do that again for a period of time I suppose. Thanks for thinking of that!


        April 7, 2021 at 6:54 pm

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