Gotta love it....suggestions?

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
I love sitting around my chickens in the evening...everyone comes out (barn kitties too) and start playing etc...so I threw a little scratch, and the girls all came over to indulge...

Then, all of the sudden, one of my BR pullets, stopped eating, looked up and out popped her first egg...soft shelled, she turned, looked at it and walked off! Ha...the others ran over to it,
I scooped it up (all drippy and wet...ugh) and carted it off...it was so odd...I guess I always thought they "KNEW" they had to lay an egg...guess not for the 1st one.

Move on a day or so, no eggs...where are they? My girls had been laying for a week or so...but none in the nesting boxes...

Let them all out to free range, and one took off like a dart...I followed her and she ran right to.......jack pot! I found a nest in the pole barn...7 eggs! (she had been "holding it in" till I let her out!)

Silly girls...now I find a few in the nesting boxes, and always some in the barn nest....if I close it off, will they just find another spot they like...its behind some gas cans, so it's private...I put some material over the doors to the nesting boxes, to make them more private...found 3 eggs in there yesterday...I am afraid if I get rid of nest #2, they will find another place...and I KNOW where this one is!

Anyone run into this, what did you do?
 

southerndesert

B & M Chicken Ranch
8 Years
Jun 17, 2011
1,352
20
141
Morristown, AZ
Try keeping them penned until afternoon and then let them out for a couple hours perhaps so they lay in the coop.... Once they get the habit of laying in the coop you can go back to letting them out early.
 

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
Quote:I did that yesterday, got 3 inside, another 2 in the side barn later on...I can't leave them in all day, the run isn't large enough to keep them enclosed all day...will try a bit longer today...
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
277
316
Strasburg Ohio
Jody, I have a similar problem with my hens sometimes. I have an Olive Egger hen, and she lays such a beautiful olive green egg (naturally her name is Olive-haha), anyhow, everybody lays in the nest boxes but her. I still haven't found her egg stash. But I know it's out there! The problem is, I've got 5 acres of woods around the house, and so it's like finding a needle in a haystack.

Sometimes, they all lay inside (except Olive), and I'll get around 6 to 9 eggs a day, which I think is fantastic. I do think they have their days where nobody wants to come inside, so I don't get many eggs.......

I would leave their "secret nest" alone.....because, like you mentioned, at LEAST you can check that spot daily too.

Just my humble opinion.
 

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
Quote:thanks Sharon...I have over 300 acres! I know they don't go that far though! They are just making it to my house...about 30 yds from the barn...I have haystacks also...so literally a needle in a haystack!
I will try keeping them in, but won't disturb #2 nest...I got a total of 5 eggs yesterday, out of 13 pullets...not sure how many are laying as of yet...when you go a few days without any...you KNOW they are there somewhere! Good luck to you!!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,442
15,038
777
Southeast Louisiana
That's a problem of not having a lot of space. You don't have the flexibility to handle things. I suggest you seriously consider increasing the size of the run so you can leave them in there if you need to. I recently lost some to dogs somebody dropped off in the country. I'd have lost more if I could not have locked them all in the run for a couple of days.

Back to your current problem. When I'm faced with that, I leave them locked in the coop and run until I can break that habit. I've left the whole flock locked up for a solid week. You say you can't do that. It also helps a lot to find the other nest and remove the eggs, which you have done.

But sometimes I have one that lays in the coop but on the floor. In those cases, when I catch the hen on her nest on the floor, I lock her in a nest box until she lays the egg. This usually takes about a half hour, though I had one that took three hours. In all cases except one, doing that once was enough. One hen, I had to do that to her twice. Maybe if you can catch the ones laying in the other nest and lock them in a nest box, you can retrain them.

I am a real believer in fake eggs too. You don't mention it, but if you have not, put golf balls or some type of fake eggs where you want them to lay. I don't think it will totally solve your problem, but it won't hurt. And leave the fake egg in the nest. Don't remove it after they have been retrained.

Good luck. This one can be frustrating.
 

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
Quote:I do have golf balls in the boxes, took them out actually because the girls were doing so well...they are back in the next boxes now! Curtains over the doors...straw and shavings (the other nest is of straw, so I thought they preferred straw)...

My run, it is actually too small, most certain...they free range over 300 acres, well, they only go about 30 yds...I do need to make it larger, but it is also in our coral for our cattle...I can't get a whole lot larger, the cattle will damage it by rubbing up against it...(no cows in there at the moment) I think this is a serious activity we need to tackle though for when we go out of town for a few days, they are on their own...

They are locked in this morning..we will see how they do, will leave them in till 10...and see...thanks for the tips!
 

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
UPDATE: left the girls in till after 11 today..not one egg, one girl in a nesting box, I guarantee I will have several eggs in an hour in the pole barn nest...I really don't want to lock them up...but I may have to, told hubby, "we may need to expand the run..." his reply..."I guess...may be a good idea..."...so we may be building a larger run very soon...

(No that doesn't mean more chickens...at least not yet!)
 

Auscal

Songster
9 Years
Oct 29, 2010
208
3
101
You have a good suggestion of leaving them in longer - alternatively you could just live with collecting form two nesting areas :)
 

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
Quote:Yes, will continue to do so...its "sorta" fun, like an easter egg hunt, but when it's -20* outside, will NOT be fun!!

We have discussed expansion, now to motivate!!
 

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