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Author Topic: Wild laying!  (Read 244 times)

BML

  • Joined Dec 2010
Wild laying!
« on: September 12, 2020, 10:30:13 am »
What do you want to do ?Copy I have three chickens in a larger than normal Hen House and a patch of land about thirty yards by forty yards to run about in.  They used to lay three eggs a day and it suddenly dropped off and today my wife followed one of the hens and found it laying in a bush where there were ten other eggs so back in the Hen House they have gone. Apart from putting chicken wire all-round the hedges I see no other option.
 

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 10:32:16 am »
check the nest boxes for parasites; they may have switched to outdoors to avoid being some bug's lunch while laying.

BML

  • Joined Dec 2010
Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 11:04:43 am »
What do you want to do ?CopyWhat! Thinking Chickens? I will check but I thought that such parasites were to small to see so how do I identify them? I remove chicken poo every day but every week or so I also give their new bedding a dusting with a powder the chap who sold me the chickens gave me for that purpose.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
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Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 11:46:20 am »
That might be diatomaceuos earth, @BML .

I don't know what the 'What do you want to do ?CopyWhat! Thinking Chickens?' stuff is, but I agree with @Perris .

It could be red mite which Diatom might help with but it needs to be spread liberally in the nest boxes and on the perches, and also inside the roof of the coop.  If it doesn't work you may need something stronger.  You might be able to see the red mites if it's dark inside the coop and you shine a torch on the ends of the perches or in teh nest boxes
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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2020, 01:17:44 pm »
How long have you had your hens, and has the hen house been used for poultry before?

You can see red mites  :o   Before they have fed they are grey, afterwards they are red.  If you are really lucky they will run up your arm ;D . Sometimes you can see them on the eggs when you first collect them and they are warm. If you have a really bad infestation you will see a grey mass, tablespoonsful,  often at the end of the perch, waiting to run out onto the hens when they sleep.  If your house is not plastic, then you can use a 'weed wand' or a blowtorch, preferably with a long handle, to frazzle the mites.  If the powder you were given is diatomaceous earth, then it's worth adding it to the hens themselves and to their dust bath as well as at the ends of and underneath the perch. It's as well to know just what you are using on your flock, and to get some DE if your powder is not that.  Mites can also collect under roofing felt. Creosote is good at killing mites too but the house needs to stand empty after treatment until it has dried and all fumes are gone - up to three weeks, so you need an alternative house.



For the eggs laid away, you don't have a large area so finding them shouldn't be too difficult.  Collect them up a couple of times a day so there is not a collection or your hens will try to hatch them and go broodie. Make sure whenever you suspect they are laying away that you find the spot.  For us it's more difficult as our hens tend to like laying deep in the hay stack  ::)
Another trick is not to let them out too early, perhaps after 1000, by which time they are likely to have laid their eggs where they should.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 01:20:05 pm by Fleecewife »
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waddy

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 03:18:13 pm »
You could also stick a couple of fake rubber eggs in the nestbox to encourage them to la in the right place.


Waddy

Backinwellies

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Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2020, 07:55:41 am »
I have this problem every summer when the hay stack is just much more entising than the hen house .... I just try to find the stash and leave one egg (mark it so you know which one) .... they will then continue to lay in that place (until they decide somewhere else is better!)    That to me is the joys of free range!!!!  :innocent:
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BML

  • Joined Dec 2010
Re: Wild laying!
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 02:08:44 pm »
What do you want to do ?CopyWe have just returned from a week in Somerset and my wife spotted another egg in a different place. I squeezed in to get it and found 16 more so I found a spare roll of chicken wire and fenced that side of the chicken area off. We wait untill 10.00 before letting them out and not then unless they have laid three eggs.

 

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