Ask the Experts
QMy point-of-lay hens have been very nosey recently, walking around and looking in boxes and under bushes. I think they are looking for a place to lay their eggs - is this likely? And if they are, then how do they decide where to lay their eggs?
AMichelle Dunn says: I would say your hens are definitely looking for a place to lay their eggs. We know hens are looking for certain things in a nest site. They want it to be dry, quiet, fairly dark, enclosed and undisturbed. They like a place that is big enough for them to turn around and stand up in, and they prefer something soft on the floor like dry earth, woodshavings or straw. As to what makes any one chicken pick any one spot .... well. This is a mystery. A sensible chicken would choose the nest box that you have painstakingly made and positioned for her. Regrettably, most chickens are not very sensible. Hens will choose an old plant pot, or a clump of thyme, or the cat’s basket, or an old cardboard box. When they decide to go broody they are even worse - I’ve had hens make nests on high shelves in sheds, under electric saws and in the middle of a gooseberry bush. Keep an eye on your hens, especially for the first hour or so after they wake up, and try to find the places they choose to lay in. Be prepared to step in if they choose somewhere completely bonkers!
A hen searching for a suitable nest site