Free ranging chickens...not laying in nesting box...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by greytmommy, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see that it is recommended to keep them locked up in the coop all day to help them learn to lay in the nesting boxes....but my problem is that it is SO HOT here...heat indexes of over 100 to 110. I just cant keep them in there. And I dont have a run to keep them confinded too. I have 1 that is laying in the box...and I have one bantam cochin that is laying in my folded up camping chair on my porch. I dont know if the others are laying or not...but I think if they arent they will be any day (we got them in mid March). They hang out a LOT under my bushes in the mornings (it is very cool there against the house), and I have not seen any eggs there. There really is no where else they lay down and hang out. If they are not chilling under the bushes they are actively forging.

    So....I dont mind if they lay under the bushes (they are easy to get to). Do I need to go on a search mission around the forging areas to see if they are laying somewhere else?

    I am new to the chicken thing....and I would suspect all my chickens should be laying by now....so worried as to why I am not finding any eggs....
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:This would probably be a good idea; I'd probably do it once or twice a week unless I was sure they'd all started laying. And good for you to let them go to cooler places, in this awful heat! Lots of folks are getting a lot fewer eggs just because of the stress of the heat, so maybe some will delay starting to lay til it gets a bit more comfortable out there, in a month or so.
     
  3. Higins00

    Higins00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take a milk crate and throw some hay and shavings in it and put it right where they are laying. This way at least you don't have to go searching around and they would lay in the "outdoor" nestbox. Put a fake egg or golf ball in there to show them this is where to lay.
     
  4. JHillgrove

    JHillgrove Out Of The Brooder

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    Did you put fake eggs in your nesting boxes? If they see the eggs they will think that is a safe place to lay and hopefully will begin laying there.
     
  5. itom37

    itom37 Out Of The Brooder

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    It's really hot here too, but I think it may be cooler in my coop. A nice shade tree does wonders if you can get your coop under one.
     
  6. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my chicken went into the hedge today, 2 times ! I played heck getting her out and she was snug in a rug btween huge brances laying on soft leaves. My guess is she is trying to lay an egg. she never has so my guess is she wants to do the egg thing in my hedges. those hedges tore me up trying to get to her, there 12 feet high and at least 10 feet deep! After 2 times I put her in the hen house and shut the run door, guess what? she was in the nesting box digging and digging. I may have my first ever egg today!! I know its hot out, but I would put a box out where they lay, me I just shoved her back in the coop, and Im not letting any more out until they lay . they can stay in the run, its to hard to get them from the hedges. today 4 times! ( 2 for one chicken and 1 time for 2 other chickens. ugh.
     
  7. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the fake eggs in the nesting boxes in the coop.

    I have a milk crate, so I can totally make an "outdoor nesting box". Where should I put it? Under those bushes they like to hang out under??

    My coop is under a shade tree. But it is really really humid here, so I think that is part of the problem. They have discovered that the little holes they have dug in the dirt right next to my house (the brick and foundation) is much cooler since we are running our A/C.

    Luckily my bushes are really easy to manuver, and I can easily get around them and get a look at thier little dirt holes.
     
  8. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bumping for my recent question! [​IMG]
     
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    I would check for eggs.Other animals might take them. I carry my chickens to my far back yard every am to get them out of the metal coop.Flies were an issue by the house, hence the walk to the back. It has a wooded area,and I put a tarp up over some reed fencing for rainy times.Under the tarp I have some nesting boxes.I do check the wooded area too.My concern is squirrels getting into their food or getting the eggs. I go to the back and check the boxes 1-3 times a day.
     
  10. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    unless you want to hen peck for eggs all over the place, you might just want to get a pen, there cheap if you get a kennel off Craig list, we got the 99 dollar one at murdocks and its worked wonderfully, but we decided to go double sized so we are getting the panels now to make it huge. unless there penned up and know that the coop is open and they can go in while being in the pen Im not sue you can get them to lay in there nest boxes. mine was in a pen, but we let them out each day and she got into my hedge to lay, so now she is penned up until she learns where to lay.
     

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