Our hens are now 20 weeks old and one laid her first egg today! We have 5 RIRs and 1 Gold Sex Link. Not sure who laid it, but after we picked up the first one, we found a second one a few hours later. (To be fair, the first egg below could well have been laid yesterday, but we were home after dark.) Both of these eggs were laid on the dirt floor of their indoor coop. We have an old potting shed for their coop with 4 nesting boxes inside. They have free access to their outdoor 16x16' fenced run, where they spend most of the daytime hours. Anyway, I had 2 fake eggs in two of the nesting boxes and had kept the boxes closed off until about 18 weeks old. They had been investigating the boxes and sitting in them over the last couple weeks.
My question is, how do I get them to lay in the nesting boxes? I thought the fake eggs would help them know where to lay. Do they just need a little more time to "get it"? We don't have any other hens around to set an example for them. I guess they are still just young and not sure about what is happening?
Thanks for any advice!