HELP! My Layers Changed Laying Spots!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Arwenelfmaiden, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Arwenelfmaiden

    Arwenelfmaiden Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 6 girls about 27 weeks old. Never found any eggs out of the nest until today. It was crazy. 1 under the feeder, one under the laying boxes, in the wood chips & the shocking one on the pathway to the Coop! The only changes are in feed, staying in the coop when I leave the house and my Black Copper Marans just started laying. Oh, I did change out a nest in case it had poop on it. Yes my hens poop in their boxes & I don't know what to do about but to block their two boxes at night. But that would maybe really rock the boat......ANYONE, ANY IDEAS ON THE EGG LAYING ELSEWHERE DEAL???[​IMG]
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Here are some of my thoughts. You may be able to put together a solution from them.
    As long as chickens are laying inside coop. IT IS A GOOD THING.
    A chicken will seek out a comfortable , nest, spot, or location. If all nests are taken,,,,,,,,, well the the egg has to land somewhere.
    Changing a nest into a clean one should not be a deterrent.
    Possibility; chickens do prefer to be alone or in private if possible when laying. That is why we construct individual nesting boxes, rather than group type. Maybe there was too much activity at laying time , and chicken just dropped egg anywhere possible.
    You mentioned that they like to sleep in boxes and resulting in pooping in them. A possible solution may be properly placed roosting options. The roosts have to be desirable more so then the nesting boxes.
    My last thought is your hens are still new at this laying game. In time they may learn to use nests only. [​IMG]

    WISHING YOU BEST [​IMG]
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Usually poop in the nest means they are sleeping in the nest.
    Do they have a comfortable roost to sleep on that is higher than the nests?

    Put fake eggs/golf balls in a few of the nests, this will induce them to lay in the nests.
    Keep them confined to coop and run for a week or so to habituate them to laying in the coop nests.

    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. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     
  4. Arwenelfmaiden

    Arwenelfmaiden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the response! I have now witnesses one hen "drop" an egg right around me when I enter the coop. And yes my hens are all in their late 20 weeks and I think, not too sure, they are all laying at this time, but not every day. And about the nests location, this Coop was purchased by my father-in-law. It is one of those Skyhawk deals that is a complete Coop kit. The two roosts unfortunately are right next to the nesting boxes (2). That is a fault of the design. I just had an idea to make something for the front of these nest boxes. Ill put up a board keeping the nesting stuff inside the box and reinforcing an edge-maybe the "boxes" will be more or an actual box.

    I have not tried the locking them up in the coop yet but when I do during the day or before they go in for the night, they literally raise HELL. They are very vocal. I just figured they would go crazy locked up like that for days but with the winter here in Kansas coming, I want them to enjoy the weather as much as possible. I will try it to see what happens with their habits.......
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you don't have enough room to lock them up now, it won't be any better when the weather keeps them in there....might need to add some sheltered space somehow.
     
  6. Arwenelfmaiden

    Arwenelfmaiden Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is what the coop looks like outside and inside. I plan to board up the windows in the door so the openings are high in the brick house. The 6 chickens are actually in a built chicken coop inside of this brick house. Wood ceiling with metal roof. They do have plenty of room inside the building and then there's the actual coop with room in that, too. I would put them in the building and lock the door. The windows are covered in Hardware Fabric so nothing except air can get in. A small fortress with lots of space inside.
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