Egg laid in the yard, not the box!

Baysidegal

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2020
20
17
31
My girls just started to lay eggs for the first time.
With 5 hens I’m not positive which one (or more) are laying. Today, there was no egg in the nest box. However, when I went to lock them in their coop for the night I found an egg ON THE GROUND!
It had been there for a few hours as it was cold whereas the others that had been laid in the nesting box had been warm. The egg was slightly darker in color than the other eggs collected.
Will they eventually figure it out? Do I need to put a fake egg in the box?
I have the potential for three nesting boxes for 5 birds. So far only one nest seems to be used.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,498
11,481
712
Nevada County, CA
My girls just started to lay eggs for the first time.
With 5 hens I’m not positive which one (or more) are laying. Today, there was no egg in the nest box. However, when I went to lock them in their coop for the night I found an egg ON THE GROUND!
It had been there for a few hours as it was cold whereas the others that had been laid in the nesting box had been warm. The egg was slightly darker in color than the other eggs collected.
Will they eventually figure it out? Do I need to put a fake egg in the box?
I have the potential for three nesting boxes for 5 birds. So far only one nest seems to be used.
She'll probably figure it out, silly biddy... You can try the fake egg. It helps many folks' chickens.
 

triala

Chirping
5 Years
May 10, 2015
23
27
97
I do not know if it is normal (with chickens what is normal?!) but my girls do have their favourite nestboxes. We now have 9 for 16 girls (recent expansion from 5 for 10 girls) but the definitely have two favourites that they use.

I have seen girls queuing to get in when someone is already in one of those rather than go elsewhere, and two in the same nestbox at the same time, rather than go elsewhere is not uncommon. They will also move if the one they want beomes free. I think the most at one time in one was four, but that was involving considerable discussion and did not last long...
 

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