Egg hunt with no eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Icecapades, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Icecapades

    Icecapades Hatching

    Sep 20, 2018
    Hi all, I'm a new owner to 5 chickens that are a little over 5 mo old. I knew at least 2 of them (austrolorp and wyandotte) had to be laying because they were showing all the behaviors I read about, but I couldn't find any eggs in their coop. They free-range so somebody told me to start looking through the yard. After three days of searching, and about a week of odd behavior, I found seven eggs under a tarp. I thought if you can't beat them join them so I added some bedding to their little nest they made, and now they won't go near it. I've been searching the yard for the past week and haven't found any eggs. I realized I messed up by having them sleep from a young age in their nesting boxes, so I just started blocking them off at night so they stay clean, and then this morning I opened up the egg boxes and kept all the chickens inside the coop until after 2. Still no eggs. Should I keep locking them in, and closing nesting box until they form a new routine? Or should I just let them go back to what they know, sleeping in the nesting boxes, and just keep searching the yard hoping for the best? Thanks for your help, I'm very very new to this.
    FlappyFeathers and Rick M like this.
  2. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

    Nov 12, 2015
    Nor Cal
    Will you'll need to take another walk, attend you should probably lock them up 24hr for at least a few days. Yes most chickens lay earlier rather then later but young pullets aren't on a schedule yet and will sometimes lay every early or very late. You really needed to get them nest trained and dont incourage outside laying or till always be looking for eggs
    FlappyFeathers, Icecapades and Rick M like this.
  3. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Songster

    Jun 20, 2016
    Welcome to BYC! I would lock them up for a few days so they learn to lay in the coop.
    FlappyFeathers, Icecapades and Rick M like this.
  4. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Crowing

    Yup lock them up chickens don’t like change so it will take a while I would keep them locked up for a week unless it’s to hot or something.
    FlappyFeathers, Icecapades and Rick M like this.
  5. RWise

    RWise Songster

    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    Locking them up is not an option for all of us, I will lock them in for a few random hours and watch. Fake eggs (I use golf balls) in the nest you wish them to use can help.
    Lock em up, the girls that have hidden nest/s will start wanting out badly, at this point let them out and follow them to their nest. IF I know which girl has hidden her nest (mine are EEs) I will place her in a broody buster (wire cage) in the living room and watch her the next morning. When she is frantic to go out, let her out and follow her, this has worked every time for me, good luck
    Icecapades and Rick M like this.
  6. Rick M

    Rick M Crowing

    Jun 21, 2018
    Southwest Missouri
    Hello and welcome to BYC. My girls did the same thing, I locked them in their coop till early afternoon for few days. They didnt like being locked up but they all started laying in their boxes like they should. We did have one that was laying on top of an old cabinet in our garage and it took about two weeks to find it. It took a few falling off and starting to smell before I found it and blocked that area off.
  7. You should un block the nest boxes, put about 3 golf balls in each with straw or shavings.
    Are your roosts higher than the nest boxes?
    After dark each night move any nest box sleepers back on to the roost bars. Hopefully you wont have to do this long, if so, you may have a space or design issue.
    Good luck!
    FlappyFeathers likes this.
  8. Icecapades

    Icecapades Hatching

    Sep 20, 2018
    I like this idea, I feel so bad having them locked in. But my yard is wild and if they are always finding new nests it will be tough. Is it possible they don't like their original nest in the yard because I messed with it, or could it be that they are not laying every day?
  9. Icecapades

    Icecapades Hatching

    Sep 20, 2018
    No, the roosts are on the same level as the boxes, that's why I was confused. I don't think it's a very functional coop.
  10. Icecapades

    Icecapades Hatching

    Sep 20, 2018
    Oh my gosh it worked!!!! Moana went straight for the ivy and Cinderella followed to wait her turn! 20180921_112307.jpg
    Evelyn's Mom likes this.

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