Hens laying outdoors?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RooLove, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. RooLove

    RooLove Hatching

    Jun 21, 2011
    My hens are free rangers. They are about 20 weeks old. How can I be sure when they start laying, if they don't do it in their nesting boxes? I have seen them making nests in the dirt. Also, how can I encourage them to lay in their boxes?

  2. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Songster

    Oct 11, 2011
    You can put golf balls or fake eggs in the nesting boxes. It usually encourages them to lay in there.
  3. "Usually" most hens WANT to lay in a nest box of some sort because it gives them the cover, secluded privacy that they like. Open "nests" in the dirt are typical of Beaulieu's that they like to bath in, not necessarily lay in. As previously mentioned put some golf balls in your nests and make sure the nest box (of whatever make and design) are easily accessible. Be watchful as 20 weeks is fairly typical for the beginning of laying for most breeds. You can research also to find out even more helpful hints on free ranging your chickens.

    Wish you the best!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by