Hens changing laying location

scratchkid

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2020
11
4
13
My hens have stopped laying eggs in their brooder boxes and are instead now laying them on the ground in the corner of the coop, sometimes outside as well (they're free ranging). Is it just because they're tired of me taking them all the time...?

I also have the idea of buying some ceramic eggs and swapping them out every time I come by to pick up the real eggs, would that work?
 

cluckcluckhens

Songster
May 4, 2015
387
576
191
PNW
My Hens do this all the time for years. If a laying box is taken in the coop ours will wait in line or lay in the corner of the coop. She will also make a nest to lay her eggs in. Mine pick different corners from time to time. Dirty straw in laying boxes will make them lay in another area. In my case ours lay eggs on the laying board so I do look up when I'm in there. Just remember the ladies can lay anywhere they want, even in water container if it's big enough. The run is another place to lay eggs at our place. This usually happens in the summer.

I would not think the Hens are doing this because you take their eggs. They like a nice quiet place to lay where no one will bother them. Another place is on the straw next to a laying box.

You could get some boxes from the store and put fresh straw in them and most times they will lay. Ceramic eggs are so the chickens do not eat the eggs. It will happen from time to time.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
90,006
111,594
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
I also have the idea of buying some ceramic eggs and swapping them out every time I come by to pick up the real eggs, would that work?
Yeppers!

My hens have stopped laying eggs in their brooder boxes and are instead now laying them on the ground in the corner of the coop
You mean nest boxes?
Have you checked nests for pests?
How many nests do you have for how many birds?

Is it just because they're tired of me taking them all the time...?
Nah....unless you are disturbing them while they are on the nests, then maybe.

sometimes outside as well (they're free ranging).
Might need to confine them for a time.
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/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, 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.
 

WrenBird

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2020
7
53
41
This has also just happened in our Hen House! So I'm thankful for the question and replies. We have a flock of four. Only 1 lady is laying and she had been doing so consistently in the same roosting box (is that the right term?) since she started laying in September. Then there were 3 days with no eggs, which was unusual. Finally, my daughter spied 3 eggs nestled in the corner on the ground covered in shavings. That's where our hen has been laying ever since.

I don't mind (except we are careful not to step there when we go in!) but I wondered why the change.

Our other question is about the other 3 girls. We've raised them since birth March 5th and were thrilled when Laverne started laying in September and expected the others to follow shortly after. But we're getting just one egg a day in the same delightful light green color in the same spot (except as mentioned), so I assume it's just Laverne. Anything we can do to coax the others to lay? Although it's about to be a pretty cold winter here in PA, so perhaps we should just hold out hope for the Spring. Thoughts?

Thanks Flock Friends!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
90,006
111,594
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
roosting box (is that the right term?)
Nest or nesting box is the most common term for where they lay eggs.
Roosting is the common term for when they sleep at night,
don't want them to do that in a nest.

Anything we can do to coax the others to lay? Although it's about to be a pretty cold winter here in PA, so perhaps we should just hold out hope for the Spring. Thoughts?
They will lay when they are ready to lay.
The short days can delay onset of lay.
It's the length of the days, not the temps, that most affect laying.
Pullets may start laying once the days begin to lengthen after Solstice.
 

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