Egg hunt with no eggs!

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

  1. feathermaid

    feathermaid Egg Obsessed

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    Feb 5, 2018
    Northwest Oregon
    My Coop
    Oh, boy. I think you have to decide why you want chickens. If you really do want their eggs, then you have to make it so they leave them where you want them. The best way to do that is to confine them to the coop/run area. Doing so will essentially "home" them to the coop so they view it as the safest place to lay eggs and sleep.

    How big is your coop? If it's little, like a prefab, it's probably not big enough for 5 hens. You may have to downsize your flock or build a larger coop. It is possible to use a little coop as only a nest/roosting area and not a "living" space... but free ranging would be necessary. And herein lies the problem. Your hens don't completely view the coop as home. If left to nest in the brush, and become broody, they could end up staying outside all night and possibly become a nice meal for predators. At some point, they could even start roosting in trees. Then you have feral chickens! Even if you do manage to find their secret nest, they usually abandon it once it's been discovered, and off to find a new spot.

    You really shouldn't let chickens sleep in the nest box. They poop a lot while they sleep, and that poop can stick to their vent area and cause problems. And if you do get them to lay eggs there, you can end up with poopy eggs. Raise the roosts higher, even a couple inches helps because chickens usually feel safer the higher they sleep. Make sure they have enough room, 12" length for each hen. Keep fake eggs in the nest boxes at all times to encourage them. Physically remove any hens from nests at night and place on the roost bar.

    Sometimes it's a lot of work to "teach" them what you want, but it's so rewarding in the end! ❤️ These articles may be helpful:

    How Much Room Do Chickens Need

    Get a chicken to lay in the nest box

    Predator Proofing

    Chicken Coop Ventilation
     
  2. RWise

    RWise Songster

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    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    Now just add a golf ball if you want them to continue using this hidden nest when you take the eggs. And raise the roost/s up higher if possible,,, I myself keep "hidden nesting" available, in other words I add them to the run, their current fav is on top of a rooster pad.
     

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