First Egg at 7pm - How to schedule?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JimmyMack, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. JimmyMack

    JimmyMack Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    We found our first "real" egg last night around 7pm. I knew they were ready as there had been a few weak eggs a week earlier. I thought they might be laying in the bushes, but I could never find anything. From the suggestion of another member, I "locked" them in their coop for 24+ hours and viola, an egg. It wasn't in the nest box, although I see they have nestled in their and moved stuff around. I did let them out for an hour last night before dark.

    Now, they are back in the coop and I am hoping to have them use their nest boxes, but my main question is how do I get them to change their schedule from laying at 7pm to 7 am, then they can play all day? Do I need to give it more time and they will get on a schedule themselves, or is there something else to help it along? Lastly, do their schedules adjust to each other (when one lays do the others say, "Hey, maybe I should do the same", or is it completely random.

    I'd like to get them on a schedule because they are really cooped up...literally. The coop is small and only designed for night and nesting. It's 18-20 square feet for 6 birds. The rest of the time they are strolling about our property.

    Thank you!

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can't change their schedule. But a 7 PM egg should be good news for you. The usual cycle is around 25 hours, so ordinarily they lay a little later in the day each day, until they lay near sunset, then they skip a day, then begin laying early.
  3. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    If only chickens were that obedient! Then my hosta plant would be unmolested, thier dustbaths wouldn't be under the fence, their feed would stay in the container I put it in, and I wouldn't have to check for eggs several times a day! [​IMG]

    On a serious note though, ddawn gave you really good information. At least part of the time they'll be laying when you want them to!
  4. JimmyMack

    JimmyMack Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Thank you. So it appears they have their own schedule and I just need to hope they will use the nesting boxes? Have a great weekend.
  5. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    You can always put a box out side the coop, some have and they nest there also.
  6. This_chicks_place

    This_chicks_place Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I've read if you put a fake egg or golf balls in their nest they will get the idea to lay their eggs in the appropriate place. Good Luck! I'm still waiting on our first eggs:pop
  7. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    I'd say keep them locked up for several days, and using the nest box will become a habit and they will return to it. Make sure when they are free ranging they are able to get back to the nest easily.
  8. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    They usually figure it out. I have had a few eggs on the ground outside the coop and now all are in the nest box.
  9. JimmyMack

    JimmyMack Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Well, kept them locked up for a few days... had a little success. One in the nest box one morning.

    Noticed one of my Red Stars missing...looked around and she was in the lillies, all bedded down. I picked her up, put her in the coop and an hour later, an egg in the ensting box.

    Found a discovery of 10 eggs in the woods. I suppose someone has been laying for a few weeks.

    PS - chicks are 18 weeks, so one Red Star started at 17 weeks and the other at 18 weeks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by