Hen Egg Laying in yard instead of coop.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cluckmuck2010, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. cluckmuck2010

    cluckmuck2010 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2010
    First things first I'm a newbie to this website and to raising chickens. My husband and kids talked me into it -so naturally I'm the one who is really taking care of them for the most part. Well we have 12 hens I believe from my looking around this site that they are ISA Browns. They started laying their eggs about the last couple weeks of August. Have 9 (well now 10) that I know are laying out of the 12. Today when I went to let the chickens out of the coop noticed one take off right away (they usually follow me around in hopes of a treat [​IMG]) upon investigating found she had made her own nest with quite a few eggs deposited already. I don't know that she ever has used the nesting boxes inside the coop or not but I am wondering how I can get her to start using them. I do say she chose a well covered hide way sort of speak -won't be easy for me to get too either, think I will leave that for my 6yr old [​IMG].

    We have been using golf balls so far anything else we could try?
     
  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2009
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    Golf balls have worked well for us, but it's possible that she is just resistant, and laying eggs in the same (other) place every day kind-of reinforced that behavior, if that makes any sense. I would remove the eggs, maybe fill in the depression or nest where she has been laying and see how it goes from there.
    My grandmother would feel each hens' tummy as they were let out in the morning. If she felt an egg there, that hen would be kept in the coop a little longer, to insure that they laid in the coop rather than where it would have been difficult to find. I don't know if that would work for you or not. I suppose you could even band her leg so that you could be certain of which one needed the extra supervision.
     
  3. CarolAnn

    CarolAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Kansas
    I found one in the mud of the run this morning when I opened the chicken house. They're let out every evening for around 90 minutes to work the yard. Last night I heard the egg song briefly from a group around a cedar tree and my first thought was "on no, they're laying in the yard!" I looked all around under the tree but didn't see an egg. It was so brief that I'm thinking/hoping someone was just practicing. Of the 14 eggs I've gotten in the last week today all but one was laid in a nesting box. There are two out in the boxes so far today (noon).
     
  4. Indy acres

    Indy acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Lebanon In.
    Last week I found 15 eggs in a nest out in the yard so I took a low cut cardboard box put hay in it and put it under the other nesting boxes and sure enough she layed an egg in it, so now I will see if she does it again today.[​IMG]
     
  5. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    Quote:Golfballs or glass/plastic eggs seem to work, but since shes imprinted to lay in "her own nest", it's going to be up to you to try and persuade her otherwise. Assuming there is nothing preventing her from using a nest box and you know the specific chicken, you can try to keep her locked in the coop/run area until she lays her egg. Good luck.
     
  6. cluckmuck2010

    cluckmuck2010 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Thanks for the help -I have rain on my side today so hopefully she will lay one inside coop today [​IMG]
     
  7. Indy acres

    Indy acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Lebanon In.
    The box that I put inside the coop under the nesting boxes is working she layed another egg in it yesterday so hopefully no more laying outside.[​IMG]
     
  8. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    I made an outdoor nest. Because my coop isn't big enough for more than 1 . What I did was take a file tray filled with hay and put a big plastic storage container over the top. The kind that stack and is low in front. The pullet seem to have taken to it right away. My girls free range all day. As long as I can find the eggs I guess it doesn't matter where.
     
  9. CarolAnn

    CarolAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Kansas
    Quote:Your coop isn't big enough for more than one bird? Or did you mean the nest box? Hhow man do you have and where do they roost at night? Sorry, just not understanding what you mean.
     
  10. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Lol nest box
    I have a 4 ft long roost for 3 small fowl the bo doesn't roost because of bad leg. I was only planning on 2 hen .therefore 1 nest. But like most people it didn't work out as planned they seem happy no fighting the 3 only take up about 2 ft of roost they all jam together and leave the other side empty
     

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