Chicken Won't Use Coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by litchick10, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. litchick10

    litchick10 New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2008
    I have a single free range chicken (meaning she wanders my backyard) and I only got my coop finished about a month ago. I got her in April. She was one of 3, the other two disappeared, this one has stuck around.

    Problem: My chicken will not use the coop. I've found some of the eggs she's laid in the yard, never in the same place.

    I tried the fake egg in the nest trick with no luck. I locked her in the coop, no luck. I tried using a real egg, still no luck.

    Any ideas on how I can get her to use her lovely new coop for laying.
     
  2. foxcrossing26

    foxcrossing26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2008
    This is a tough one, because she has a routine now. She lays where she thinks it's safe, according to her instincts. Your task (should you choose to accept it!) is to make her a place that's safer than the other spots. So, try "messing up" the other places she has used. Block them off, pile stuff so she cant get to them, etc. Then make sure she can get to her new nest box (for instance, one of mine has her wings clipped so cant fly up to the nest box very well...) and that it's in a "safe" spot -- not out in the middle of the yard, not in a noisy or trafficky place, etc.

    Is the new coop on the ground? Maybe she'd rather have it up a bit. Maybe it's too big (as in, too roomy -- some hens like to feel enclosed when they lay).

    Finally, since she's a solo, she may need a role model. If you will be getting more hens, be sure to confine them to the area of your new coop when you first get them, so they will learn to lay in the coop. Your solo hen may then follow the leaders, since they are flock animals.

    Good luck!
     

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