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  1. #1

    Question Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    Has anyone else ever experienced this?

    She follows me around shouting at me like a warning call. I actually thought first time she thought I was a threat.
    Continued this for about an hour every time she saw me.

    Until I let her in the tack room where she proceeded to lay an egg in front of me in the corner she has made a bed for herself.

    It's got a half door and she isn't clipped and regularly decides to jump in or jump out of the coop. So she can access it easily herself if wanted.

    It's like she wants me to stand watch so she can lay. Refusing to do so in the main coop.

    So I rescued a chicken from a friends yard that was closing down, since the actual owner didn't care for them correctly.

    Apparently shes a bantom hen.

    My yard already had five chickens.
    Two white silky cockrals.
    Two Warren hens.
    Some Egyptian mini cockrals.


    Now we also got the same day a new Blackrock hen and a Warren Cross hen.

    She's a bit of a loner but slots in on the edge of the group. And won't let the others Bully her.

    Never expected her to lay because she didn't at last place and had no idea how old she was etc. But knew she wasn't getting the feed previously needed.

    All the others are laying in the main coop. Although almost in shifts.

    Some wait for them to be let fully out to wander the yard before retreating to lay.


    I'm a first time chicken owner and have no idea and google keeps trying to tell me about chickens who won't lay. Not exhibitionist chickens!

    Not really worried. Just think it's odd.

  2. #2
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseyShuhari View Post
    Has anyone else ever experienced this?

    She follows me around shouting at me like a warning call. I actually thought first time she thought I was a threat.
    Continued this for about an hour every time she saw me.

    Until I let her in the tack room where she proceeded to lay an egg in front of me in the corner she has made a bed for herself.

    It's got a half door and she isn't clipped and regularly decides to jump in or jump out of the coop. So she can access it easily herself if wanted.

    It's like she wants me to stand watch so she can lay. Refusing to do so in the main coop.

    So I rescued a chicken from a friends yard that was closing down, since the actual owner didn't care for them correctly.

    Apparently shes a bantom hen.

    My yard already had five chickens.
    Two white silky cockrals.
    Two Warren hens.
    Some Egyptian mini cockrals.


    Now we also got the same day a new Blackrock hen and a Warren Cross hen.

    She's a bit of a loner but slots in on the edge of the group. And won't let the others Bully her.

    Never expected her to lay because she didn't at last place and had no idea how old she was etc. But knew she wasn't getting the feed previously needed.

    All the others are laying in the main coop. Although almost in shifts.

    Some wait for them to be let fully out to wander the yard before retreating to lay.


    I'm a first time chicken owner and have no idea and google keeps trying to tell me about chickens who won't lay. Not exhibitionist chickens!

    Not really worried. Just think it's odd.
    Perhaps she just likes your tack room for the comfort! I once had a chicken who recovered from having been attacked ( we think by a dog) and had a pronounced limp but only if she thought you were watching her, we had kept her in the house while she recovered from her injuries abnormal she acclimatised quickly strolling through greyhounds who also lived in the house.

  3. #3
    Old nag
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    7,107

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    Sounds as though she feels under threat - they are very vulnerable when they are laying. Are you sure she isn't under attack from one of the others?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    She is a bit nervy.

    I was told she was bullied previously so lived seperate.

    However, she now seems quick to stand up for herself. Will push in for food and kinda stay at the side stubborn like. Whereas the other two new ones get a telling off if they try to feed whilst the silkies or Warren's are. Then have to wait till after.

    So maybe even though she isn't bottom of the pecking order she is still nervy.

    Just odd.
    She can get in there herself whereas the others can't. She accepted the cats and even almost tried to go in their beds.

    So just wasn't sure what changed.
    She lay the first time in tackroom by herself.

    Maybe she thinks she needs a guard.

  5. #5
    Schoolmaster
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seine et Oise, France
    Posts
    808

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseyShuhari View Post
    Maybe she thinks she needs a guard.
    Maybe so.

    I don't know much about hens, but my garden cat wants me to be nearby while she eats.

    She races me to the garage, I unlock the door and tell her to open it, she goes inside and I put some food in a dish on the floor, but she will only eat while I'm standing close by.

    I can sometimes leave, if she doesn't see me leaving; I close the door quietly behind me, and she can push it open to get out. But if she seems me leave, she rushes out after me.

    It seems to me that a hen laying an egg would feel as vulnerable as a cat eating.

  6. #6
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    11,613

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    Cocks will go and stand by a hen while she lays. Some boys will get in the nest before her and check it out, then call with a low noise to say it is safe. That is a throwback to jungle fowl where the cock would check if there was a snake or anything dangerous in the nest before risking the hen.
    If you are interested the reason the hen shouts when she has laid is so she can find her group again, as they may have wandered some distance in the meantime. Hens really aren't as dim as people think, they have a very wide range of vocalisations.
    We are in for a gallop, away, away,
    I told them my beauty could fly...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    Woah didn't know all that.

    I don't think she's fond of any of the cockrals so I guess I must be the substitute!

    Yes, I spent ages going through clips on a website trying to identify which seemed to match her call. That's why I thought alarm one matched.

    She's not lay in a few days. Maybe I'll pop her in the tack room and stay with her and see.

  8. #8
    Old nag
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Weathertop
    Posts
    10,870

    Default Re: Chicken will only lay an egg if I stand watch!

    the trouble is, you can give 10 hens 5 nestboxes but they generally will only use one or two of them IME. Ideally they should be dark and in my big coop the nest box row has 'curtains' which I replace 2 or 3 times a year. I've also recently splashed out and bought one coop the Stubbs plastic nest boxes which are fab and they seem to love them-maybe you could try and give her a nice, enclosed nest box in the tack room OP.

    Alos, being a bantam, she'll probably go broody at the drop of a hat and is looking for somewhere safe to nest. I have one that goes broody in the eves of my workshop every year-since she can't fly up there she had to work out how to jump on 5 different surfaces to work her way up-even the cats couldn't get up there-they aren't as daft as people think.

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