Are they laying eggs someplace else?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crayon, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. crayon

    crayon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens were born May 25th. They free range all day- roost up at night. They rarely visit the coop during the day. My rooster have been mating with the girls and some have stopped fighting and are "taking it" now.

    I have been thinking eggs soon- but I am wondering now if they are laying in the woods or something. I have found no eggs- so they could not be laying. I have 3 barred rocks (2 of them are really red in the comb and waddles- the other not yet) then I have 3 Wyandotte girls (and one roo) all my girls are really red and full bodied. Then I have 1 EEer pullet, one roo. My pullet seems to be the most target and most willing to mate. She is a small bird- but I think that is just her shape- she seems to no longer put up a fight to mate.

    Any ideas? Will they just go to the coop when they are ready? Will they know what to do?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They may just not be quite ready to lay yet... Are the nest boxes ready in the coop? Do you have a golf ball (or fake egg) in each box so that they know it is a safe place to lay?
     
  3. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2010
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    Probably too soon. I have some born--um, hatched-- in March and April, and not all of them are laying yet.
    But remember, once they do start, sometimes they like to find/make hidden nests: like the fourteen eggs I found under the bush next to my house, from my Red, when I used to free-er range that flock (since taken from me by a cursed dog) We've since minimized the freedom, for safety.
     
  4. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try leaving them in the coop, and letting them out later on. I lock the roosters in separate cages so the hens have free time in the morning and access to food and water without being 'harrassed'. I started doing this because the hens would seek around the poarch looking for either bugs or a place to lay (we are building too and storing stuff on the poarch out of my way but could look interesting to a hen) so far, they all go back to the coop to lay and have a snack. Also one day I caught the rooster clucking and carring straw under the tarp covering the lawnmower...so they do actively 'help' in finding a nest spot.
     
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are close, if not laying elsewhere...I had to keep mine locked in till noon or so, they got the hint, make sure the boxes are ready, and I added a curtain of material in the front of them, the girls now have no issues laying inside...they share the same 2 boxes...
     
  6. crayon

    crayon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do have nest boxes- but they never sit in them. Maybe a few times we have seen one in there- but it has to be maybe 3x ever. I think I need to make the nest boxes more "wantable"..... Right now the younger flock sits on those to roost because (although enough room) the larger flock will not let the younger ones roost on THEIR perches! lovely. So we are going to roof the nest boxes - will post a pic- and then put another layer of roosting above them.

    I checked and they are only 18.5 weeks- so yeah- it maybe to early. I am thinking about 20-22 weeks.... I do have some that are being submissive tho to the roosters- so I was thinking maybe that was a sign of eggs being some place on this property. But I never see them apart- the flock is pretty "tight".

    Here is our nest boxes- the ladder is no longer that way- it was just that way when they were babies.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Crayon, If I were you, I would add a board in front of the box, first, to keep the chips from sliding out, and second, maybe the girls might feel a little more comfortable having something to "box" them in.
    I feel they would like that more, and maybe just try it on one level, and see what happens?
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree -- if mine didn't have a 1"x4" across the lower front edge, the shavings would be on the floor. They also like to sit on the 1x4 to decide which nest to use.

    I've had some start as early as 18 weeks. Watch for red combs and the "squat."

    And check the woods....
     
  9. crayon

    crayon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes- I have a board I am going to put across them- just have not got the smaller nails yet- and then we are going to roof it because it is getting dirty (poopy) over night as the youngest chickens roost around the top of the top boxes.
     
  10. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    I have the same setup. Have a roof/poop board at an angle on top, so the working girls don't get bombed.
     

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