How do I get new layers to lay in nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LakeGooseBerry, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. LakeGooseBerry

    LakeGooseBerry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2014
    My young hens are about 20 -22 weeks old and appear to be on the verge of laying their first eggs. In fact some have already laid eggs in other places in the yard. I want them to be able to free range in the yard but how do I get them to lay eggs in the nest boxes only? Do I have to keep them confined in the run which is attached to the coop and nesting boxes? If so for how long?
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    I find that placing fake eggs or even shop bought eggs in the nest box often temps them to start laying in the nest boxes. Good luck!
  3. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    I would think that a week or so of confinement in the run, along with putting golf balls or fake eggs in the nest box would be long enough to encourage them to change their habit.

    Usually when I am trying to change a habit with my flock, it seems to take at least 3 days before they make the change.

    If you don't have golf balls or fake eggs, some folks simply mark a few eggs and leave them in the nest while collecting fresh ones. Don't leave them too many days or if they get broken and are rotten then you have a real mess.

    Good luck!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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 for 3-4 days (or longer) 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 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

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