Yes, Grieb Ranch hens are getting creative with their hiding places for laying their eggs. They are doing this due to the return of the attack on the eggs. Predators like the Stellar Jay birds that peck holes in the unhatched eggs, or raccoons who are stealing the eggs know to seek out nests in the barn (where a nest is provided for the hens) thus disturbing the nests and causing the hens to go elsewhere.
As long as the eggs nests keep growing (more eggs added or not destroyed) the laying hens will “go broody” which means they keep laying eggs. Therefore golf balls are added to the nest as these won’t get stolen or pecked out and the hens will keep producing eggs to enjoy or to hatch out. The eggs to enjoy have to be grabbed before the predators get them and replaced with a golf ball. It is important to know where the nests are so the eggs can be gathered.
Just how many hidden nests can one come across at Grieb Ranch? Several. One hen discovered the security of being underneath the bench seat in the old truck. That one took awhile to discover.
One hen found security in the garden shed. Several hens have set up house in the Gooseneck trailer and have gone to town more than once. One of the Gooseneck traveling hens ended up out of the trailer at Templeton Sales Yard and had to be caught and returned at a later date!
Why did the hen go to town? Because she set her eggs in the Gooseneck trailer and went to town!
Once it comes time to hatch out a nest the hen and her eggs need to be moved to the large hen coop. This is best done in the dark, however demands of the ranch can keep one from doing so . . . even at 2 am sometimes there still isn’t time to move the hens!