chicken laying outside the nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SeaChickens, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I have 3 chickens and two nest boxes. They're about 8 months old now, but they've just now finally all laying eggs (one started on Christmas Day, one about a week ago, and one this week).
    I originally had only one nest box open because i have read many places that chickens like to all use the same one anyway, so I figured they would just share. Apparently they don't like sharing because they were making quite a ruckus each day and one was laying in their outdoor run. So I opened up the second box, which seemed to help and there was an egg in each but also one outside again. Do I need a third nest box? Or are they just figuring things out still? I've had to toss the eggs laid outdoors because they've been super dirty so I'd like to figure out how to get them all laying inside. Thanks!
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Most hens like to lay in a secure location. Since they have laid in the nests, they should lay there once they get into the rhythm of laying. Two boxes should do. If you have a third box might as well open that one as well, might be the one they will like the best.
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    I agree that 2 boxes should be fine. You threw the egg out because it was dirty?? Couldn't you just wash it off? [​IMG]
  4. I have 1 hen that will lay in the nest boxes the rest lay outside of em. I have 4 nesting boxes and 8 of my hens are laying. The hen you have may never lay in the boxes
  5. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    thanks everybody! I will give the girls some time to figure things out. Two more laid on the ground this weekend though. [​IMG] They are in different places outside too which is odd, seems like whomever is doing it can't make up her mind!
  6. lahowardjr

    lahowardjr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2012
    Bache Oklahoma
    I have some hens that will wait for their favorite nest box to come open or use another. I also have a couple of hens that will try to squeeze in and cause somewhat of a ruckus. A large nest box is a good idea in a coop. You can place a milk crate with nesting material in it to accommodate the hen wanting to nest on the ground. This will help in having dirty eggs too.
  7. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Great idea! Thanks!
  8. mfr4550

    mfr4550 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2012
    Ogden, Utah
    I've always allowed my hens free range during the day with a coop for the night. In the begining many have laid in strange places - like chairs on my deck and planters; sometimes it appeared that the egg was just dropped on the ground as they were walking. It was like an Easter egg hunt everyday. I tried providing nest boxes in different areas but they never cared for the boxes on the ground. As time passed they began to lay in the nest boxes. It may take them awhile to get the hang of things.
  9. jboyfarms

    jboyfarms New Egg

    Feb 27, 2013
    hey yall. im new to this whole forum thing. lol i have a 5 hens and 2 roosters that have been "cooped" up (pun intended) since i get them. I decided to to free range'em and at first they where still laying the the nesting boxes. but now all my hens have picked the same spot to lay outside. my concern is safety for the eggs, and when i get more hens if they will lay with the rest or find another spot.
  10. chknwhisperer

    chknwhisperer New Egg

    Jan 15, 2013
    I'm new to this forum stuff, but i have learned so much from everyone, Thanks!! From a suggestion from one of you, I put a golf ball in each box, and it seemed to help them understand the whole thing. We got our 6 RIR girls last year,(August) the lady we got them from (across the street) wasn't sure exactly how old they are, but they started laying within a couple of days. We have not seen a molt yet. When should we expect that?

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