egg ladies laying outside the coop....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickyboo mom, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. chickyboo mom

    chickyboo mom New Egg

    Jul 21, 2014
    As you may remember, I contacted you guys for advice here, to solve my problem after an attack in the coop. Now... I have fab and not so fab news..... my news is... the ladies have gone into their coop by themselves to go to sleep, sometimes... if they can, they will take to the roof!! [​IMG] that's th bad news, ahahha

    The good news is, I got my first egg this morning!!!! joyous occasion, as I have had the ladies since they were a week old!!! But... and here's the problem... I found the egg outside!. There are only the 2 of them, new layers, and neither have had an older chicken to show them the ropes. What do I do... do I :
    A) leave the egg on the spot,
    B) take it away, and wait for them to learn to do it in the coop themself
    C) put it in the coop, in the spot they are supposed to lay?
    D) Any other advice?

    Thanx again for all your help guys!
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Welcome & hello,
    I would take the egg away, otherwise they will continue to lay in that spot. Get some fake plastic/wood eggs and place them in the nesting boxes - they should get the idea eventually. I do still find the occasional egg outside the coop and mine are 3 years old !
    Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is not that unusual for a pullet to lay her first few eggs wherever she happens to be. That could be from the roost at night or anywhere in the coop or run. It’s as if she doesn’t understand what is going on and doesn’t have any control over the process. It’s also not that unusual for the first few eggs to be a bit odd; soft shelled or no shell, no yolk, no white, tiny but otherwise perfect, double yolked, or just weird in many ways. Laying an egg is a complicated process. What is amazing to me is that most get it all right the first time. Still not all get it all right.

    It sounds like yours just dropped her egg where she happened to be. That’s not a big deal if she did not have any control over the process. She will probably soon gain control and start looking for a safe place to make a nest. That may or may not be your nest. You never know what is going on in that bird brain of theirs. What looks like a safe place to lay to them may seem terribly exposed to us. Most of the time they will look for holes, darker places, or places that appear camouflaged in some way. Just shadows on the coop floor may make a place look good to them. It’s the ones that lay on top of barrels or on wide open spaces that makes me shake my head.

    Many do like to lay where other chickens are laying. That’s why putting a fake egg in the nest helps a lot. It doesn’t guarantee she will lay there but it does have a strong influence. I use golf balls but others successfully use plastic Easter eggs, wooden or ceramic eggs, maybe even ping pong balls. It really helps to have another hen laying in the nests too, the older ones seem to train the younger, but even with that I still occasionally have a pullet that decides to lay somewhere else.

    Since it is her first egg, I would not panic. Just put a fake egg in the real nest and remove the egg she laid. If you leave it there she may decide that is a safe place to lay.

    If she starts returning to the same place to lay every time, then she has decided that is a safe nest. You will need to retrain her. That can be a challenge. If she is laying outside the coop, you might need to leave them locked in the coop until she lays her egg. If you do that for a week, you might retrain her to lay inside the coop, hopefully in the nest.

    Something I’ve done that has been really successful when I have a hen laying on the coop floor instead of in the nest is to lock her in a nest. I built some of my nests so I can lock a hen in there if I want to. That’s come in handy for different reasons. When I catch a hen laying in a nest I don’t want her to, I catch her and lock her in a real nest until she lays her egg, then I let her out. That usually takes about a half hour, though I’ve had a hen take 3 hours. Most of the time I’ve only had to do that once to retrain them, but I’ve had a couple of hens I had to do that twice before they caught on. While I don’t abuse them, I don’t try to be real gentle when I take them off the wrong nest either. I don’t want them to think it is a safe place to lay.

    From your description I don’t think you have much to worry about. A lot of people see that first egg under the roost instead of in a nest or laying in the coop floor or the run. Most of these pullets soon get control and start using the nests. Good luck!
  4. fayetevilegirls

    fayetevilegirls New Egg

    Feb 16, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    I am having a similar issue, my 2 girls (my first chickens) have decided to lay their eggs under the screen ladder that exits their coop into the fenced in run. I have now removed the ladder to see where they try next.... if they don't go for the nest boxes inside the coop, I'll try locking them inside as a next step.

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