Who s laying the eggs

Leghorn in sunbeam

I kept the nest cam in the coop for four
days, which was long enough to answer my original question (which
breed is laying the least?), and also to provide some intriguing
insight into the chicken mind.  Here’s the breakdown by

Percent of possible eggs:
Date White
10/19/13 100% 67% 67%
10/20/13 100% 100% 67%
10/21/13 100% 100% 67%
10/22/13 100% 100% 80%
Average 100% 92% 70%

My conclusion? 
Those hybrid layers do seem to be maintaining their egg-laying
vigor into the winter much better than our Black Australorps (some
of whom are crossed with Cuckoo Marans).  I’ll be curious to
see whether the next generation, some of whom will be a hybrid of
the Leghorn or Star with the Australorp Cross X Rhode Island Red
rooster, have a better winter egg percentage than our current
homegrown birds.

Waiting in line for
the nest box

I wasn’t surprised by
the results above, but I was more intrigued to discover that the
egg I’ve been finding on the floor of the coop every day is coming
from the same bird each time — a Red Star.  I also learned

The Stars seem to be at the bottom of our coop’s pecking order, so
they can’t get the other hens out of the nest box in time to
lay.  Our hens seem to take about fifteen minutes per egg,
but each hen likes sitting on the nest long after that, until the
next hen comes to displace her.  Despite being the smallest,
the Leghorns are our loudest hens and seem quite capable of
displacing anybody; the Australorps are the biggest and can
physically push another bird out of the nest; but the meek Stars
are prone to just wandering off on their own and laying eggs on
the floor.  I suspect our Stars would be much happier if they
lived off by themselves in a tractor or a coop of their own and
didn’t have to deal with the high-maintenance birds around them.


One last note on the
laying front — different breeds seem to lay at different times
of day.  The Stars and Leghorns are generally done by 10 am,
but the Australorps keep slipping into the nest box until early
afternoon.  Perhaps that’s linked to their lower laying

My next nest box
experiment will occur once I let the hens back out into the
woods.  I discovered that part of the lowered egg yield a
couple of weeks ago was due to a few hens laying outside the coop,
and with the nest cam, I’ll soon know who.  Stay tuned for
more details!

Our chicken waterer
keeps hens hydrated with clean water so they can lay more

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