Help! My girls are laying all over the place...


10 Years
Apr 21, 2009
Franklinville, NY
I have 6 hens that are about 9-10 months old. Most of them started laying towards the end of last fall. At first I was getting 5 or so eggs a day and then it just stopped. I at first assumed it was just the cold causing them to stop laying. But then I found their super secret nest.


This nest was located on my creek bank and it was very well hidden. I removed all the eggs (there were like 30) and made the spot inaccessible to them. For what little they did lay over winter they did lay in their nest boxes.

For the past few days it has been sunny and back up into the 40's so some of the girls are starting to lay again. One of them lays pretty regularly in the nest boxes, but the others are leaving eggs all over the place! So far I have found them under my shed, under my plow truck, in the driveway, and in the dog's outside water dish.

Any ideas on how to make this stop?
What's the breed? I would try leaving them shup up in the coop for a few days. Make sure your nest boxes are a good design and dark to some degree inside. Don't collect eggs from them while their sitting in the nest. Don't hover over them. Not saying you are just a thought.
My birds do the same thing some time.

You could try placing ceramic eggs or store bought ones in their nesting boxes to try and get them to understand that's where they should lay.
I have 3 RIRs, 1 BA, 1 Speckled Sussex, and 1 mystery hen.

I'm not much of a hover-er lol. They come and go as they please although they all run to me when I'm outside to see what treat I have. I check for eggs once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It was just chance that I stumbled upon these eggs (although I did catch my RIR laying an egg under the plow truck, she was making all kinds of racket).

I will try cooping them up if this continues. Thank you!
Confine them to the coop and run...ceramic egg in the nest.

BTW, ceramic eggs are usually easy to find in gift shops for about $1 each.
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We don't have a run, they are free range only (we have about 10 acres for them to roam, although mainly they hang out in my pasture or by the house).

How long should I coop them up for? And is it ok for the rooster to stay in there with them?

(BTW just found another egg by my garage door)
Mine did that too. I got most of them to start laying in the nest box by not letting them out until after 11 or so (when most had laid). I *knew* I should be getting at least 2 eggs a day so they didn't go out until I got my two eggs. Good luck! Also try marking them and leaving some eggs in the nest; it's cold enough out that you don't need to worry about them going bad overnight.
I use golf balls in my nest and all my hens use their nest boxes but of course my flock doesn't free range. They have a large run and I only let them out for a bit in the afternoon when I can be out with them since we have a bad hawk problem.
I lock mine up at night in the barn and then let them out in the morning before breakfast and they free range all day until dark when they all promptly return to the barn. Mine have always laid in the barn...even when they are way out in the woods..they will come right back to the barn to lay...this goes on all throughout the day. I go out to collect eggs in the afternoon and then check again before locking themup at night. I would say that t sounds like you need to re-establish thier "home" I would lock them up for one week straight and then just let them free range during the day and most likely they will return to roost at night. What kind of set up do you have for them to lay in? My girls have "nest boxes" but never use them they prefer to lay eggs in the corners of the barn shelves. HTH..Blessings, Keri
PS. We live on a farm too so they endless amounts of acres to roam but like I said they always return to the barn to lay.
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