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Hens are laying everywhere!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm am probably asking a question that has been asked a hundred times.  I am new to this.  I have 33 chickens, 5 roos and 28 hens.  They should be about old enough to be laying.  They free range, no chicken run.  I find 3-4 eggs a day in the nesting boxes, but I'm sure there are a lot of eggs scattered around who knows where.  I don't know how to get them to use the nesting boxes.  HELP!!!

post #2 of 4

Do you have a run that can be used to confine them to the area immediately around the coop for a period of several days without overcrowding them?  If so, confine them so that they become "homed" to the nesting boxes (further increase success by "baiting" the boxes with golf balls, etc)  -- instinct is for them to find "a" nest, in many ways the nest boxes in the coop are the least attractive from a bird's perspective (they are for human convenience) so it is natural for them to, if able, select nest sites in other locations. 

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post #3 of 4
Ya I agree. If you let them free range 24/7 then they will do what they want. Try using ceramic eggs and leaving them in the nesting area. They say 1 box for every 4 birds so you need around 7-8 nest boxes. If you allow them to free range then look on the bright side, it will be easter egg hunting every day for you :-)
post #4 of 4
Chickens are animals of routine, generally once you establish the routine of using the boxes they will return even while ranging....if/when you notice a drop in the egg count and suspect some have started going rogue again just repeat the process of changing their routine.
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