A Solution… For When the Broodies Take Over the Nests
- Broody hens claiming the community nest area.
Sometimes broody hens can take over the nest area and not let any other members of the flock enter the hen house or their nests. That means the other hen’s routine is upset and this can interrupt or even stop egg production.
It’s better to move the broodies to a confined area. But if you don’t have a separate area suitable for them, sometimes it’s just better to go with the flow and put extra nest boxes in the coop for the others. This is a much better idea than to let them find a place on their own, because what you’ll be doing in that case is going on an everyday egg hunt!
- Extra Nest Box
As you can see, members of the existing flock will rather quickly claim the new extra nest boxes and egg production will eventually resume. One way or the other, problem solved! To help them along, a ceramic egg or golf ball in the box often helps lure them in.
Simple? Probably not, it’s almost inevitable that two hens will claim the same box! So put out a few!
My ladies have been on an egg strike this winter, but considering they are in their third laying season, I wasn’t at all surprised. It’s common to see a decrease in egg production after two seasons, but to completely stop laying did seem a little drastic.
Their nests were empty day after day, after awhile I just decided to love my freeloading ladies just the same. I didn’t go on any egg hunts, for years my hens have laid their eggs in exactly the same place.
This morning I noticed my polish hen Penny was not at the gate waiting for her breakfast. I called her and there was no response, odd, I thought. Usually I’m tripping over her every single morning. My immediate gut feeling was she died, and I dreaded that walk to the coop to look. I lifted the roof of her coop and it was empty. There’s another coop in the yard from a previous flock, but nobody ever goes in there, I checked anyway.
I pulled back the tarps and slowly lifted the roof worried about what I’d find. There she was! My Penny was sitting quietly in the corner. Of course I was happy to see she was at least thinking about laying again, but I didn’t expect to find a stash of eggs under her! I know I’ve preached over and over about how hens often stray from their nest area and pick a new place. Well, this time I should have taken my own advice and gone on my own egg hunt. Apparently my ladies have moved, this is what I found under Penny. Shame on me!