Chickens laying in the bushes

oceansunset73

Songster
Jul 14, 2017
204
348
166
California
My 5 Production Red's are two and a half years old. They have been laying in the nesting boxes since they first started laying. Now all of a sudden they have all decided to start laying in the bushes. :barnie

It has been quite hot here, almost 100 for several weeks. As of today, I have locked them up in their run for now. They have had fake eggs in their boxes and their coup, boxes and run are completely shaded. But I can understand that the bushes would be quite a bit cooler regardless. Their boxes are also clean, no mites or bugs.

Anything else I can do? Will this behavior stop when it starts cooling back down again?
 
Last edited:

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,577
36,154
1,122
Colorado Rockies
You're right about the cool comfort of the bushes compared to the sweltering heat of the coop. You could dampen some hand towels and place them in the nests. The evaporation will create cooler air in the nest. A fan would also help.

You need to block off the bushes if you expect to nab the habit in the bud. Then salt the nest boxes with eggs to signal to the hens that they are open for business, perhaps showing the next one who is in an egg laying mood where she should lay.
 

sealer39

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Aug 3, 2013
2,873
21,196
842
Pineville, Louisiana
I wouldn’t keep them locked in the coop. It could be too hot for them right now which is why they are laying in the bushes. Heat, if they can’t escape it, will kill a chicken pretty quick. Can you get some shade on the side of the coop with the nest boxes?
 

oceansunset73

Songster
Jul 14, 2017
204
348
166
California
Thanks for the response. The coup and run is pretty shaded, but still not as cool as the bushes though I'm sure.

I might leave them locked up to re-train them to use the boxes once again, but only during the first half of the day when they usually lay. Then let them free range again in the late afternoon and in the peak time for the heat of the day to get them some relief?

I might see if I can try and block off the section where they are laying too but... it's a whole entire fence line of bushes and ivy they are nestling into. Ugh.

Here is my set up for their coup and run where I have them currently locked up at:

F7B18097-2A0E-41A3-AF8D-C22761691862.jpeg

:
 

ava april rouge

In the Brooder
Sep 1, 2019
10
3
11
You're right about the cool comfort of the bushes compared to the sweltering heat of the coop. You could dampen some hand towels and place them in the nests. The evaporation will create cooler air in the nest. A fan would also help.

You need to block off the bushes if you expect to nab the habit in the bud. Then salt the nest boxes with eggs to signal to the hens that they are open for business, perhaps showing the next one who is in an egg laying mood where she should lay.
gather nice dry grass for the beding,in a round shape then allow sunlight to your brooder, then make sure it a secure place from others, then watch the time she is about to lay lock her in there until she lay, do it like four times
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
My 5 Production Red's are two and a half years old. They have been laying in the nesting boxes since they first started laying. Now all of a sudden they have all decided to start laying in the bushes. :barnie

It has been quite hot here, almost 100 for several weeks. As of today, I have locked them up in their run for now. They have had fake eggs in their boxes and their coup, boxes and run are completely shaded. But I can understand that the bushes would be quite a bit cooler regardless. Their boxes are also clean, no mites or bugs.

Anything else I can do? Will this behavior stop when it starts cooling back down again?
well that was first indication I had of pending broody, but for all 5 it may be to hot in there so maybe a fan to help cool it off and try grass cuttings for the nest boxes or there may be a predator about that is why they chose to lay somewhere else if they've always laid in the nesting boxes
 

ava april rouge

In the Brooder
Sep 1, 2019
10
3
11
well that was first indication I had of pending broody, but for all 5 it may be to hot in there so maybe a fan to help cool it off and try grass cuttings for the nest boxes or there may be a predator about that is why they chose to lay somewhere else if they've always laid in the nesting boxes
The need ventilation not fan it can cause cold to her chick or harm to her
 

oceansunset73

Songster
Jul 14, 2017
204
348
166
California
Thanks everyone for the advise. The coup has plenty of ventilation, I leave the windows open when it's hot. I will also try to add some grass into the boxes as well.
 

MANNA-PRO

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