Eggs laid outside of boxes and now getting eaten, help!

mzsharboneau89

Hatching
Jan 19, 2021
5
3
8
I have two hens that, no matter what I do, they will not lay in the nesting boxes. We have 11 layers total, and all the others have no problems. We have six boxes for them to lay. We cleaned the boxes, put curtains in them, tried herbs, both fresh and dried to see if it made a difference, we've tried dummy eggs... they are both golden comets. We just accepted that they would not lay and moved on. However, now in the last two days at least one of their eggs have been eaten. This is now a problem, I'm worried that now the coop has gotten a taste they will start in on the eggs in the boxes.
I collect as soon as I let them out and again in the afternoon, so I'm hoping I can at least get those in time. But I'm looking for some relevant advice to my situation and I cant seem to find any. Please help.
 

mzsharboneau89

Hatching
Jan 19, 2021
5
3
8
Have you seen her lay the egg? Blow out a few eggs and fill them with soap so that get a bite and they never try to eat eggs again.what do you feed them.
One lays on top of the boxes and one lays her egg on the ground partially buried in the sand. How do you get the soap in? Is there a type of syringe that I can buy over counter?
 

nuthatched

It's C-O-O-P, not C-O-U-P-E!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 9, 2019
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One lays on top of the boxes and one lays her egg on the ground partially buried in the sand. How do you get the soap in? Is there a type of syringe that I can buy over counter?
You make a hole on both ends, drain the egg and just stream the soap in. The hole doesn't have to be small.
Some times, fresh layed eggs get stuck to the hens bum fluff and gets carried away for a bit before falling off.
 

mzsharboneau89

Hatching
Jan 19, 2021
5
3
8
Where do they lay?
Maybe you can make that spot a bit safer, and add a few fake eggs to it.

(Fake eggs helps because a chicken can try to eat it, but they won't get anything tasty: so they start to think that egg-shaped things are a waste of time, just like pecking rocks is a waste of time.)
One on top of the boxes, another on the ground in their sand. We have a couple of ceramic eggs that we used originally to show them where to lay. I can try that out. Thanks
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
5,133
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USA
One lays on top of the boxes and one lays her egg on the ground partially buried in the sand.

Can you put a box on top of the boxes? Or just an edge, so the egg cannot roll off?
For the one on the ground, will she lay in a box if you put one at the right spot?
(Just thinking of ways to keep the eggs safer in the places where those hens are determined to put them.)
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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If you know exactly which hens are the problem birds:

Now this isn't practical if you don't have time to stalk them, but what I did was I learned the problem bird(s) laying schedules, and when they went to their preferred spot to lay, I'd go and pick them up, stick them in a nest box, and barricade them in using my arms to cover the exit. 30-60 seconds was all they needed to calm down and start exploring the box and decide that maybe it wasn't such a bad place to be. They each started reliably using the boxes after that.

Alternatively, some folks design "doors" on their nest boxes so birds can be locked in, which basically does the same as above, but forces the bird to stay in the nest box (whereas once I see them exploring and sitting down in the nest, I leave them to it and walk away).
 

mzsharboneau89

Hatching
Jan 19, 2021
5
3
8
Thank you for the replies, I went in and added a makeshift box on top of their other boxes and two of my hens used it today. The other hen did not lay her egg on the ground today, instead laid it on the shelf underneath their roosting area. Needless to say that egg was given to our dog as it was no longer fit for human consumption.
Thankfully, no eggs seem to have been eaten today. I also put our decoys back in so that may have helped a bit too.
 

mzsharboneau89

Hatching
Jan 19, 2021
5
3
8
If you know exactly which hens are the problem birds:

Now this isn't practical if you don't have time to stalk them, but what I did was I learned the problem bird(s) laying schedules, and when they went to their preferred spot to lay, I'd go and pick them up, stick them in a nest box, and barricade them in using my arms to cover the exit. 30-60 seconds was all they needed to calm down and start exploring the box and decide that maybe it wasn't such a bad place to be. They each started reliably using the boxes after that.

Alternatively, some folks design "doors" on their nest boxes so birds can be locked in, which basically does the same as above, but forces the bird to stay in the nest box (whereas once I see them exploring and sitting down in the nest, I leave them to it and walk away).
We have a trail cam I may be able to use to figure out the pattern, unfortunately I wouldn't be able to physically be out there to watch and wait as I have a little one. I try my best to give them everything they need, but to be honest the laying isn't the only problem we are having. Only one of my girls even let's me pet her, and that's only after we bonded while she was recovering from a torn up neck after bullying. None of the others will come very close unless we have food. So the ability to pick one up to put them in a nesting box is probably next to impossible at this point.
 

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