I live out in the country on 80 acres and let my 6 chickens have their run of the place. This is their first laying season. I have nesting boxes in their coop but no one is laying in them. I find two eggs under the shed a day and that's it. I am sure the others are laying in the woods somewhere. I've looked but can't find their nest. It would be so much easier if I could get all of them to lay in their coop. I trained them to come in at night so they all sleep in there and that's where their food and water is. What are some tactics to get the chickens to lay in their nesting boxes that will allow me to keep my eggs? Or am I doomed to have to search the property forever since I'm free ranging?
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You say the first week. Is that the first week after they were laying? I kept mine cooped for about two weeks after they were old enough to be outside then left them roam since then. Do you think it would be helpful to coop them now for about a week until the learn to lay in the coop? Also, do their own eggs placed in the nesting boxes work the same way or is there a special thing I need to buy?
I've never left their own eggs in there, I just tossed some cheap, neon colored plastic Easter eggs in there.