Hens laid eggs outside of coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kga, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. kga

    kga New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2009
    I have 9 hens, all laying daily. They have six very nice nests, all dark, clean and cozy. Most of the time all 9 lay in one nest, sometimes breaking an egg already there. A couple of times I found 6 eggs laid over next to a tree outside the coop (free rangers). I picked up the eggs by the tree and put a log there so they couldn't repeat that spot. However, they stand in line waiting for that one nest to be freed up, when there are 6 very nice nests right there in a row. What gives with these girls? How do I get them to use all of the nests and not just stand there waiting for the one, or worse yet, go outside and lay?
     
  2. cluckinalong

    cluckinalong Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2009
    I have seven hens and they prefer two nests. The one thing I have noticed is that the two they prefer get the least amount of natural light. Yes, they seem to wait until there's a free nest and at times I wonder if there aren't two laying in one at the same time from the location of the eggs.
    My nests are used cages from an out-of-business bird fancier. I think mine were designed for parrots or other large birds.
    I'm working to rearrange things for them.
    As to laying them out in the open, I have had that occur with young pullets. Then they get the hang of things.
     
  3. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    How dark are the nesting boxes? They will like a dark spot and it is best if they can't see each other.
    Do you have some wooden eggs in the other boxes? You might want to keep the popular box clean of the wooden and put a few in each of the others.
    My wooden eggs weren't obtained from a poultry supply house, because I am too cheap. I obtained them from a craft supply outlet online.
    As to the egg finding problem of free-range......it depends on what you want to do. If its not a problem to have an Easter Egg hunt everyday, you can encourage them to continue laying at the same hidding place by putting golf balls or wooden eggs, or you can coop them until they all finish laying......just let them out a few hours in the afternoon, until they get the hang of it. Or coop them a few days and just haul in some grass clippings if it makes you and them happy, with a lot of extra food.
     
  4. cluckinalong

    cluckinalong Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2009
    I can remember "back in the old days" hens nests weren't always inside the hen house. They were nothing more than wooden boxes nailed to trees. I remember getting eggs out of them on my grandparents farm. I was so excited they used to laugh when I brought them in still warm.
     

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