Beatrice, my top hen, started laying eggs about a month ago. She is 2 years old and had never previously laid. She is now up to an egg a day with a rare day off. Yesterday she got the urge to nest. Usually she is the first one into the coop at night but she stayed in her nest under a fern by the coop. I pulled her off of it when it got really dark so she wouldn't get eaten by a racoon. I thought maybe she was trying to lay an egg since this was new behavior for her. Today I realized that she is in fact nesting. I had to bring her into the coop again and she was upset looking over at her nest and doing a nervous clucking (obviously worrying about her babies getting stolen without her to cover the eggs. I decided to use a storebought egg (done before she became an egg-laying machine) and make a replica nest for the coop. She goose stepped around the egg staring at it like it was from out of this world (which in comparison to the size of her eggs it is). I decided to go get the egg I leave in the nest out and put it in the replica nest. I sat her down on it and she got all happy and settled in on the two eggs. It makes my little heart happy that her mothering instinct is kicking in. The eggs aren't going to hatch so I am going to have to watch out for her getting broody, but in the meantime its about the sweetest thing I have ever seen. Maybe if she didn't like eating the quail eggs I would give her those to incubate since they are fertilized and the quail won't set their own eggs.
Portland Metro Area Chickens