Chicken nesting in new area, how to break that habit?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by definit, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. definit

    definit In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2012
    One of my chickens started laying recently in the nestbox in the coop. One day I noticed a small clutch of three eggs outside the run, in a makeshift nest by the bale of straw we have. I quickly realized a second chicken had started laying, and troublingly, this chicken always escapes out the fenced run to go to her little "nest" to lay.

    Is there a way to break the chicken out of her preferred nesting area and get her used to laying in the coop like the other chicken? I would leave her be but the food and water is all in the run area and she only knows hows to escape but not get back in. Plus we live in the city and don't want the chickens making a racket trying to find their way in while we're out at work.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Close the escape route. Simple as that. I hope.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I've done two different things. When one is laying outside the coop, I lock them all in the coop for a few days while taking the eggs out if the outside nest. They are creatures of habit. You need to get her in the habit of laying in the coop. I had to do this twice for one hen, both times for two weeks, before she caught on.

    When I find one laying on the coop floor instead if in the nest, I catch her when she is in her nest on the floor and lock her in the nest until she lays the egg. This usually takes about a half hour, then I let her out. Usually it only takes doing this once, but I had to repeat the process for one hen. That hen took over three hours to lay her egg too.

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