Do I have to train free range chicks to lay in nest boxes?

lizage

Songster
8 Years
May 13, 2011
148
3
103
I have had one of my bantams squatting for over 2 weeks now. We opened the nest boxes, put a golf ball in each one and keep checking for eggs. I have also been checking the areas of the yard/landscape where I know they like to hang out during the day and have found nothing. I let the birds out in the morning before work and they are out until they put themselves in at night.

I do have a 'detachable' run for the coop I used for a bit while they were younger. Do I need to keep them confined until they learn to use the nest boxes? I would hate to keep them in there since they've been free-ranging for so long, but will do whatever I need to to get some eggs!

Also, how big of an egg would I expect from a newly-laying bantam? Not sure what I should even be looking for!

Thanks!
 

lizage

Songster
8 Years
May 13, 2011
148
3
103
I should also add that none of my other 13 girls seem at all ready to start laying. The bantam has been going in and out of the 4 nest boxes, scratching around, pecking at the golf ball, etc. so she acts interested, for sure. I'm just not sure if she knows that's where she's supposed to lay them!
 

BooBear

Chicken Cuddler
9 Years
Oct 7, 2010
2,435
23
171
Conroe, Texas
That she is checking out the nest is a good sign. Sounds like she is getting close to making her own deposit there.
Mine had no problem laying their first egg in the nest box.
 

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