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1 of 3 not laying in the boxes -

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ShockValue, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Sound, Washington
    We have 3 young girls just at POL. 2 of the 3 layers are dutifully laying in their super deluxe boxes (with golf ball lures) as intended. 1 of the girls has decided that next to our old stack of scrap lumber is a nicer place. It seems weird to me, because they do like to hang out there, but as far as a "nest" is concerned it's a pretty crappy place. Mostly just bare gravely hard-pack dirt with no nesting material around.

    We free-range from sunrise (or shortly there after) to dusk.

    This unusual spot is not totally inconvenient for us, and it's in a fairly protected area (not much threat of other animals snatching or destroying eggs), however we don't want to set up habits that are hard to break down the line.

    Is this something that I should nip in the bud? Will it be harder to break this habit later?

    I've read about locking the girls in the coop for a few days so they'll have no choice but to lay in the boxes, but it's going to be pretty hot the next few days and I'm worried about roasting them in there. Can I wait a couple of weeks and do it when the temps are back down?
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    I think you've hit the nail on the head in your post.

    When faced with two options (laying in an inappropriate, albeit safe place and laying in a stifling hot coop) I think you have to go with the lesser of two evils.

    Eventually you are going to have to train her back to the nest at some point. I would just do this by releasing them to free range a little later in the day, maybe around 11am if possible. If that doesn't work, perhaps a period of confinement is called for.

    I wouldn't bother doing any of that until such time that the conditions in the coop are comfortable for her though. Heat stress won't help her lay, or feel well for that matter. [​IMG]

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Excellent advice!
     
  4. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I will try some "late release" once the temps are cool.
     
  5. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    Today we kept the girls in the coop all day. We have 5 total, and we got 4 eggs. 3 in the boxes, and 1 on the coop floor. I suspect it was a "whoops" because I went down to say good night to them (yeah, I need help) and it was still warm and right under the roost bar.

    I put a thermometer in the window of the coop and checked a few times at the hottest part / most sun on the coop times. Peaked out about 80°F.
    They're feathery girls (Faverolles) so I'm sure they weren't very happy about it, but from what I've read that should be tolerable to them. They have plenty of fresh water and I have pretty big vents at the peak of the coop / awnings.

    It's staying cool all weekend, so as much as I HATE doing this (some of my favorite parts of the day is interacting with them in the yard) I'm hoping this will teach them that the nest box is the best spot.


    Any other comments welcome :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd give them one more full day locked up......

    then maybe Sunday and Monday you could let them out late in the afternoon, an hour or two before sunset....tho your roost layer might be on a late schedule.
     
  7. kocho

    kocho Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2014
    Mine refuse to lay in the nesting boxes. They lay on the coop floor instead. Or so we thought until we found 17 eggs under the coop!!
     

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