Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Pullets hiding eggs

Found eggs

After the first pullet egg, we saw one little white egg a day for a while.  I couldn't tell whether only one Leghorn had started to lay, or whether all three were taking turns, but I didn't really mind while the eggs were coming in.  Then...they stopped.

Red Star pullet

I had a feeling the pullet(s) had found a spot up in the pasture to lay, but I got busy and didn't take the time to track them down for about a week.  In the meantime, Mark found one brown pullet egg in the coop, which I'm guessing came from the Red Stars (although it could have come from one of our homegrown Black Australorps).  After laying her first egg, though, that pullet too moved out of the coop.

Eggs in the woodsWith no eggs coming in from our youthful flock, I finally started paying attention.  Yep, the pullets seemed to be making quite a racket in the morning from one particular spot up on the hillside.  So I trekked up the terrace pathway and found a dozen little eggs tucked away under a cut branch.

This is the one small problem with a dynamic forest pasture --- it's complex enough that chickens sometimes feel safe laying out in the wild.  I'm not terribly worried, though, since once we get these pullets into a real laying coop with a solid nest box, I suspect they'll settle down.

In the meantime, I dropped each egg in a glass of water, saw that they still sank straight to the bottom instead of floated, and declared them ready to eat.  Delicious homegrown eggs!

An Avian Aqua Miser at the far end of a pasture tempts your birds to explore beyond the coop.

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We have four chickens, and the oldest one has started laying eggs.but today we found her egg in the back of our house.Why is she laying eggs in a different spot? She normally lays them in her nest inside the coop.Is she trying to avoid the other chickens, or maybe she's tired of us taking her eggs? I've been told to put hold balls in her nest to trick her.any advice?
Comment by Debbra Sunday evening, October 2nd, 2016
Debbra --- It can be so frustrating when a chicken starts laying in the wrong place...especially since the rest of the flock can sometimes join in the "fun". In my experience, hens sometimes lay in a new place when they want to go broody or when they're being picked on or when they're new to laying and haven't gotten the hang of the nest box yet. With an older hen, I'd guess it's one of the first two options. Perhaps separating her for a while would get her back on track? Nest eggs never hurt, of course --- we use golf balls.
Comment by anna late Tuesday morning, October 4th, 2016

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