Chickens laying outside in the yard.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickenchick8, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Chickenchick8

    Chickenchick8 New Egg

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    Jun 3, 2014
    Texas
    My chickens are just starting to lay.. They were born April 7th and I found my first egg Friday. I have 10 chickens and have gotten 1 egg daily for the last 3 days. I have a 10 X20. chicken house with 7 nesting boxes. 1 egg was in one of the nesting boxes, but the other 2 were on the ground in the yard. How do I get them to lay in the nesting boxes? Thanks in advance for the help.:)
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Do you have an enclosed run that is attached to your coop that can be used to confine them for a week or two? Unfortunately, new layers who are free-ranging will not be all that inclined to return to the coop to lay. By confining them for a period of time as they start to lay you can see to it that they form the habit of laying in the nest boxes - once that habit is established it is more likely that they will return to the coop(and boxes) to lay while ranging than if they have not built the association. Of course, even then there is still the chance of them choosing places outside of the nest boxes for their laying.
     
  3. Chickenchick8

    Chickenchick8 New Egg

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    Jun 3, 2014
    Texas
    I don,t have a run,but I could keep them in their house and let them out for supervised exercise. I will do that for the next two weeks and see if it gets them to lay in the nesting boxes.
    Thanks for your advice.
     
  4. semcat66

    semcat66 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2014
    Florence, Montana
    Similar situation here - our one hen has laid out in the yard and inside the run, even though she had access to the coop/nesting boxes. Do we keep all the girls in the run with free access to the coop/nesting boxes or should we keep just the one that is laying in the run and let the others out to free-range - they haven't started laying yet. Should we keep them enclosed in the coop and not let them into the run until they figure out the nesting boxes? We've put two of the eggs we found in the run/yard into one of the nesting boxes and a fake egg in another box, but she seems to be surprised by the whole thing and just lays the egg wherever she is standing. We are not able to be with them all day so trying to catch her and put her in the nesting box when she's ready to lay isn't really an option. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  5. semcat66

    semcat66 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2014
    Florence, Montana
    Update - one of the hens that WAS laying in the coop stopped - we weren't aware of this because another hen just started laying and we just weren't counting right or something - anyway, DH just found a clutch of 10 eggs under a pile of branches out in the yard and we're sure it is the hen that first started laying in the coop - what gives?!! [​IMG]

    Another one of hens that just recently started laying about 2 weeks ago has taken to flying out of the run (we don't have predation issues, so hadn't put a roof or cover on - fence is 6 feet high) and then going through the kitty-door into our garage. First she was laying in the litter box - thank goodness the kitties are still going outside since it's nice weather!! However now she's hopping up into DH's tool box and laying in there - [​IMG]. We closed the kitty door and she jumped onto the top of our outside trashcan - you know, the ones the garbage company provide with the flat top - and laid her egg there - almost lost that one...lol.

    Told Rob we needed to keep them in the run with open access to the coop and I guess we need to put netting over the run for our escape artists - no free-ranging until afternoon for them!!

    We still have one hen that's not laying yet - hopefully she'll use the nest boxes *sigh*

    Any thoughts about making the nest boxes more attractive to them? I mean we have 6 (I know they'll probably only use a couple of them), they're about 1 foot high, 10 inches wide and a foot deep. Nice deep wood shavings - not under the roosts. Fake eggs in a couple of them.
     

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