Free range chickens coop setup

NataleeL

Chirping
Jun 23, 2016
48
18
54
utah
Hi. I'm fairly new to chicken ownership. I bought my chicks on Easter and have been learning the ropes since.
I have 5 pullets. One of my chicks turned out to be a cockrell so I found him a new home.
My ladies are free range on a half acre. They have the coop which I lock them into at night.
One of my reds is definitely showing signs it's time for her to lay. She's finding random spots around the yard to nest in lay I'd really like her to lay in the coop nesting boxes. Is there a way to encourage her to?
I'm posting pictures also wondering if their set up is acceptable and a good place for them to lay. Thinking of turning the nesting side into solid bottom and deep bedding? Opinions and advise please!? She is driving me crazy.
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SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
9,581
30,016
997
SW MO
By all means put fake eggs or golfballs in your nest boxes. Once they choose a locale, it's hard to change their minds. Your set up looks really good to me, hopefully your girls will think so too. Good luck!
 

missflock

In the Brooder
Aug 2, 2016
20
3
16
Kosciusko County, Indiana
I think your set up looks great. We put ceramic eggs in our nesting boxes when we first saw them attempting to nest outside while free ranging and it worked. Ours have only been laying for a few weeks now, but so far they are all laying in the nesting boxes and not outside. You can put as much bedding as you want, if they don't like it they will kick some out. Ours seem to like less... but we use cedar chips in the nesting boxes (and sand on the coop floor), if we put more than 3 hand fulls in they kick half of it out. lol
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,262
126,418
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

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