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Free ranged hens not laying in boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chixcoop, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that I have 2 egg layers, and one is laying in the box in the coop, but when I free range the chickens during the day, the other hen lays in a nest of pine needles that it made in the woods. What should I do, because I dont like going in there, and I'd rather have them go in their box. Should I keep them in the coop for a week straight so they get used to the fact of laying in there? Should I destroy the pine needle nest? Should I put the same pine needle nest in their nesting box? Please help!! Many thanks.
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just noticed the same thing today. A nest in the mulch under some vines in the flower bed I discovered accidently when I pulled the vines away from some other plants. No one was sitting on it but it contained twenty large eggs in blue, green, and different shades of brown. Tossed the eggs since I didn't know their ages (No one was sitting on them), filled in the hollow, removed the decorative vines and figure for a day or two will keep everyone locked up.
    It seems while the broodies were siting ini the nests the rest of the hens were out laying in places of their own choosing.
    [​IMG] And worse yet, I hadn't missed the eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Do you have any other chickens or just the 2?

    I would keep them cooped up until the one uses the coop nest.
    No need to bring the pine needles inside.


    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 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. 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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  4. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 6 total barred rock hens. I was planning to leave them in there for one week, but I might try your idea of only 3 days. Except, I am not sure on what ones are the actual egg layers. I'm pretty sure I know one, but there may be even more that I am not sure of. I saw one go in the nest box, but when I opened up the latch to the boxes, it got startled, and jumped out. I went back 30min later, and there was an egg there. So I'm pretty sure that that chicken that I scared is the other layer.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  6. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, ill try try locking them all up for three days.

    P.S. how do you quote my previous quote and your quote all in one quote box?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  8. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. silkwormlady

    silkwormlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've not posted here in a long time and am glad to see this thread. I have 6 hens that have laid reliably in the nesting boxes for several weeks after turning them loose to free-range. Unfortunately I have 2 roosters too many (I have 3 and wish I'd "done away" with2 early on!!!) and they fight, pursue one another and the hens! In the past several days I have a dwindling number of eggs.
    Seems like I need to re-train the hens to the nesting boxes and their little yard while shoo-ing the roosters out of the coop and yard!
    Yes?
    I know I need to get rid of 2 of the roosters ASAP! This is proving to be a difficult thing to accomplish and my husband and I don't have the stomach to butcher them.
    So, I want eggs!!!
    Kick the roosters out for the day and only let them back I when its time to get on the roost?
    HELP!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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