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Thread: Female won't quit laying - now on a makeshift nest

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    Female won't quit laying - now on a makeshift nest

    (crossposted)

    My hen continues to lay. The male is rather amorous and it's apoarently mating season. So, the hen has found herself a makeshift nest box on top of our refrigerator. She has two eggs there now and has been trying to sit for the last two days. I put them both back in the cage tonight and closed the door. The hen is acting up wanting out of thr cage to get back to the eggs. I don't want chicks, honestly, but I can tell that she wants out to get to the nest. It's not far from the cage. I just don't know if I should let her out and let her sit overnight. This is their first attempt at family but she's been laying on and off for about a month.

    I've gone to Facebook and had advice to separate them ; boil the eggs and put them back ; change the cage around ; put 12 hours of lighting.

    Basically she found a box on top of the refrigerator, made it to her liking, and now she's sitting on two eggs.

    Edit: The male is quite fond of her. He's practically co-dependent; if he's in one of the rooms and can't directly see her, he calls out for her repeatedly. But he makes for a good mate, always feeding her and looking after her safety.

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    Re: Female won't quit laying - now on a makeshift nest

    Hi, and welcome to the community. It is quite common for hens out of cage, for some free flying to find a place to lay eggs. And your hen sure found it. Lolol. In my view, you need to return the eggs to their cage. If you do not wish to deal with babies, then yes, either boil them, or replace them with dummy eggs, and give them back to the hen in her cage. But, unless you will be allowing the eggs to hatch, do not put a nest box in the cage. They encourage nesting. Instead, take a piece of paper towel, folded, put the boiled or dumny eggs on the towel, place the towel with eggs, in a corner of the cage bottom, and let the hen nest with the eggs for about 25 days, or until she shows no interest in the eggs, and abandons them. With hens, we cannot just throw the eggs away, because Nature will have her to immediately lay eggs to replace those. The hen has to be allowed to have her eggs, even without the nestbox.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-09-2020 at 02:51 PM.

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    Re: Female won't quit laying - now on a makeshift nest

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Hi, and welcome to the community. It is quite common for hens out of cage, for some free flying to find a place to lay eggs. And your hen sure found it. Lolol. In my view, you need to return the eggs to their cage. If you do not wish to deal with babies, then yes, either boil them, or replace them with dummy eggs, and give them back to the hen in her cage. But, unless you will be allowing the eggs to hatch, do not put a nest box in the cage. They encourage nesting. Instead, take a piece of paper towel, folded, put the boiled or dumny eggs on the towel, place the towel with eggs, in a corner of the cage bottom, and let the hen nest with the eggs for about 25 days, or until she shows no interest in the eggs, and abandons them. With hens, we cannot just throw the eggs away, because Nature will have her to immediately lay eggs to replace those. The hen has to be allowed to have her eggs, even without the nestbox.
    I actually have been in the "community" for a long time; I just haven't posted in a couple of years.
    She has laid an egg in a few other places and I have moved them to the cage in a small container.
    She didn't like the container or ignored the eggs being moved.

    She laid a third egg today! I am not sure what to do.
    If I put her in the cage she becomes anxious, wanting to get back to the eggs to sit on them.
    The male is also extremely amorous and will try to mate any chance he can get.

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    Re: Female won't quit laying - now on a makeshift nest

    Yes, birds always have mating on their mind. And, if he continues to mate again and again, which is quite normal, then she will be laying clutch after clutch of eggs, and if there is a nest box in the cage, she will never get a rest from laying eggs, and her health will suffer. Egg laying is very stressful for hens. So, you are more or less caught in the middle. Quite honestly, in my view, they need separate cages. If you allow her to have the nest box, and the babies, that is fine. But he will continue to want to mate with her, even after babies first hatch. Then, the babies suffer, if more eggs are laid, not enough room in nest box, and different ages of babies in the box. I have read of this happening. It is just Nature calling the pair. And of course not being human, they do not look upon dead babies as we do.
    The babies have to stay in the box for about 30 days before they are able to crawl out of box, perch, fledge, learn to eat seeds, and drink water. Then, they are ready for a cage of their own. And that is the ideal time to remove the nest box. But it is likely the pair will mate again, and there will be eggs, and babies in the box. And of course you cannot take the nest box out of cage, with unhatched eggs in it.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-10-2020 at 01:03 PM.

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