My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

Did locking my hens up stop them from laying in the bushes?


I suddenly stopped getting eggs in my nesting boxes and suspected that my free ranging girls were laying somewhere in the bushes but I have never found their nest.

So I locked them up each day until late afternoon, for one week.  During that week, the Barnevelders, Helen and Hilda got the message and started laying in the nesting boxes again. But Hannah Hen, my best layer, only laid one egg during that week.  She has not laid an egg in the nesting box since.

While they were locked in for that week, my neighbour was letting them out each day after 3pm and I am now wondering if that wily bantam was holding onto her eggs  until she was let out and then scurried off to her bush hideaway to lay her egg.

I don’t mind Hannah Hen living here and eating my lovely food and not producing eggs. But if she is producing eggs, I want them. I do wonder if maybe she has just stopped laying. I think she is probably quite old and maybe has passed her egg time. But I am not so sure.

The only way to tell if she is laying or not is to lock her up for a week and not let her out for an afternoon walk. So I have set up the spare (maternity) coop and tonight after she has gone to bed, I am going to grab her and put her in the spare coop. I got it ready for her today with nice fresh wood shavings and fresh water and food bowls. She will hate it but at least I will know if she is laying or not.



6 thoughts on “Did locking my hens up stop them from laying in the bushes?

  1. Chickens are social animals, this sounds a little cruel. Will the answer change how you treat her?? Will she be headed for the pot?? Do the missing eggs cause you to go to bed hungry?? If the answer to these three questions is NO. Then I think her sentence should be set aside. I’m having “Free Hannah Hen” bumper stickers made up.

  2. Poor Hannah. But I’m sure she will be just fine when you get home, and I’ll be interested to hear if she lays an egg. They sure seem to have minds of their own about these things. 😉

    • Funny thing. Last night when I got home she was on the nest (probably her bed for the night ) but it was still an hour before her normal bedtime.
      When I left for work this morning she didn’t get off the nest so she is either sulking or broody and sitting on the golf ball.

  3. Pingback: Don’t take your chicken’s freshly laid eggs for granted | My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

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