Hens finally started laying but only out of the coop! HELP!!

best method to fix this problem?

  • lock them in coop until they lay in there

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • let them lay in the flowers and eventually they will figure out to lay in the nest box

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


7 Years
Nov 15, 2012
Wine Country California
Ok so finally after buying 2 buff orpington pullets in JUNE they just started laying one 3 days ago and one today (it is now NOVEMEBER! lol). I have them an amazing large (converted an old gazebo) coop we built with a roost and nest boxes to lay eggs in also got a little bantam we added in who was accepted pretty easily. So in total 3 little hens. The problem is I let them out to free range in our yard during the day while I can keep an eye on them then put them back in the coop. They started laying in a nest they made in my flower bed both of them!! After the first egg I left her in the coop the next day until late afternoon like 4pm and sure enough as soon as I let her out she ran for the nest she made and laid her egg!! The next day I tried to lock them in the coop all day and they both just didnt lay :( (although the one wasnt laying until today) I put fake eggs in the nest box and made the boxes darker by covering it and I even put some of the flowers from the place they made the nest in there today hoping it will help lol. Should I just keep them locked in until they get the idea? or will they just not lay if they already chose another place? If I lock them in how long should it take? the coop has plenty of room/light/ ect so I know its totally fine to leave them in for days if needed but I really want the eggs now and the kids and I are super excited to collect the eggs for our big omelette dinner this weekend from our fresh eggs. Thank you in advance for any ideas :)
I have this problem except our girls had a hedgehog accidentally put to bed with them, after that they wouldn't even sleep in the coop and took to the trees instead. I ended up having to keep them locked in the coop (de-hedgehogged) for a week or two and they still don't lay there but lay just about anywhere else. I tried encouraging them to lay eggs by putting in rubber eggs but they could tell the differance so I had rubber eggs three meters away from where I originally placed them.
Now I just go out and collect eggs from their various nesting spots every day so they don't get rained on or dirty, if they are I wash them in lukewarm water without submerging them and pat them dry so I don't remove the protective layer that keeps bacteria out so you could do that and still eat the eggs at the end of the day.
Sometimes new layers get surprised by the egg coming. You can try messing up the "nest" in the flower bed and see if they make it to the boxes in about a week. If not, lock them in until they lay where you want them to.

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