First eggs in nest box, but second eggs not, what should we do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChlorophyllChick, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. ChlorophyllChick

    ChlorophyllChick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2011
    One of our white leghorns laid her first egg 3 days ago in the nest box. We were excited because she laid it in the afternoon while she was out free-ranging in the yard so she must have come back to the coop to lay in the nest box. Yesterday one of our red sex-links laid her first egg and it was also in the nest box. They are the only two who are laying right now (of 5), but I believe another red sex-link is about to start laying. As soon as I let them out to free range this morning (at about 10 AM) the 2 layers immediately ran to our wood shed and laid in a little nest they had made in between a few pieces of wood in a nice pile of bark, these were the second eggs we have found for each of them. I put a piece of wood there to discourage them from using it again and they got really loud and upset. Now the red sex-link who is laying and the one we think is about to have been trying to make a new nest in the woodshed. It isn't so bad right now, but in the fall when the shed is full of wood we are going to have problems. We have golf balls in their nest boxes and keep them clean and full of wood chips. Their run is not very large and they are much happier free ranging around the yard so I would prefer not leaving them locked in all day. Does anyone have any other ideas of what we can do?

    They have also been sleeping in their nest boxes, not sure if this makes a difference. When we closed their nest boxes off so they couldn't sleep there they stopped coming back to the coop at night and tried roosting in the trees. They have very nice roosts in the coop that they refuse to use for some reason.
     
  2. RoosterRidge

    RoosterRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Dry Fork, Va.
    You might want to check their roost for mice or other pests... Ours lay under the carport and who knows where else... We don't let them out until about 2pm to free range and their have been 2 that lay after that but have been going back to the coop to lay... They have to learn to lay in the boxes and some take longer than others... Good luck...
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would attack this sooner rather than later, before it gets out of hand. I'd say the roosting in trees is the greater problem. First I'd make sure the coop had plenty of fresh air and wasn't warmer than outdoors, assuming it is summer where you are. You actually may have to close them in the coop for a couple of days, much as I also hate the idea of this. If they learn to roost in the coop they should also lay in there.

    You might want to give more details of your setup. Maybe there is something about it that someone would have a suggestion how to make more attractive. And you may have to close off the spot they've adopted for laying.
     
  4. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Try putting hay in the nest boxes and don't let them out of the coop until noon or so for a while.
     
  5. ChlorophyllChick

    ChlorophyllChick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2011
    When they started roosting in the trees we would go and get them and put them in the coop. They stopped going in the trees after a few days. They would use their roosts then, but a couple of weeks ago we opened the nest boxes back up since they were getting close to laying and they started sleeping in the nest boxes again. They have not tried roosting in the tree since, so that problem is taken care of. The coop is in the shade and does not get warmer than outdoors, there is plenty of ventilation. They are sleeping in the coop now, just in their nest boxes. We don't really care about this, I have just been cleaning out the poop every morning when I let them out. I just included that info to see if that might be a reason they would decide to lay elsewhere.
     
  6. ChlorophyllChick

    ChlorophyllChick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2011
    Do they prefer hay to the wood chips? The nest they made in the woodshed was made out of hard pieces of bark.
     

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