Chickens are like children

B40chick

Songster
May 23, 2020
179
596
103
Southwest Georgia, USA
They learn the rules, "forget", and require discipline. My seven ladies have been doing great laying in the nesting boxes even though they free range. I go out of town for the weekend. My daughter tends them. She only gets three eggs on Saturday and three on Sunday, when normally it is 6 or 7 daily. This morning I let them out and a Leghorn high tails it to the barn. I am suspicious. Investigating, I find an egg under a work table in a nest of leaves. When I go to get it, under the leaves I find 6 more eggs, some white and some brown, so she is not the only culprit. I had 3 in the nesting boxes. Sooo, for the next day or two, they will not free range until late in the day. Retraining required.
 
Sep 6, 2020
1
0
6
New Zealand
How do you retrain them? Is this just a case of keeping them in their coop for a few days to reacquaint them with their nest boxes? We've tried this after our hens started out using nest boxes before gradually slinking off to various nooks and crannies after being free ranged. We've also left a few eggs in each nest box and they seem to be using them again. That said, we've only just let them start free ranging again, so fingers crossed they'll head back to their boxes.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
88,184
107,083
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
How do you retrain them? Is this just a case of keeping them in their coop for a few days to reacquaint them with their nest boxes?
Yep!
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

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