Egg laying location

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ahava, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Ahava

    Ahava Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2011
    NC
    Good grief.

    I thought my pullet had lost her mind this weekend. Our little flock free-ranges during the day, and at night they line up so we can take them to their little sun porch where they sleep. It was drizzly on Saturday and one of the ladies kept walking into the house (definitely not typical behavior). She was panting and acting strange so I figured she was upset with the sprinkles, and I also looked outside for predators. The other ladies seemed unbothered by the light rain and there were no hawks, coyotes, possums, rats, or anything else anywhere nearby. Into the afternoon it was the same scenario: she hopped up the back stairs (a dozen of them) ran to the couch, and worried with a blanket on the couch trying to get under it until I managed to grab her and put her back outside.

    Since we've never had eggs before, imagine my surprise when my daughter found a lovely little blue egg in the blanket! We were thrilled! The problem is that now she seems to think that this is where she's supposed to lay -- she came right back inside and headed to the couch again yesterday afternoon. I finally coaxed my husband to take her to her nesting box on the sun porch. (She is his chicken and he dotes on her. He would have let her lay on the couch again if I hadn't insisted.)

    My worry is this: We are not usually home at 3:00 in the afternoon which is when she seems to want to lay. I thought about confining her until she "gets it" but that seems kind of mean. We have golf balls in the nesting boxes but that' doesn't seem to give her the hint. Heaven help me if the other ladies also decide that the couch is the best spot. These two egg-laying episodes took 2 - 3 hours each day, which I assume will become less time-consuming once she is more used to laying. What are your thoughts -- how do we get her to lay in a designated place?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    It's not mean to confine them at first as they just begin laying. I keep my newly laying pullets locked in the coop/run for half a day at first.

    This helps them establish good laying habits. They will learn to like the nesting boxes and develope the routine of laying their eggs there. Otherwise, you'll have them laying eggs in all sorts of places, like in a flower pot, or on the couch! [​IMG]

    Trust me, you want to establish their laying spot.....In the nest box. Won't hurt them a bit to confine them to the coop, or the coop and run.

    Sharon
     
  3. Ahava

    Ahava Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2011
    NC
    Oh good, thanks! That's the plan then: contain her in an area with the nesting boxes. I just hope the other ladies don't decide to lay in the yard, bushes, trees, or flower pots while I'm not home. [​IMG]
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,697
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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    If they're all the same age, contain them all with her, because they'll all begin laying pretty soon anyhow.

    Sharon
     

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