How many eggs before concern about laying location?

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
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Central Virginia
Hello, 2 of my 6 hens are starting to lay.

One has laid in the nest box since her first egg on Thanksgiving, never had a floor egg, only has skipped two days (so she’s laid 10 or so in the nest box)

The second one started laying 4 days ago and all 4 of her eggs are on the floor under the roost stick. At first I thought maybe these were accidental first eggs but yesterday while the hens free ranged, she returned the coop and spent an hour making a depression in the coop bedding and laid an egg in it.

How many eggs like this should I put up with before I need to worry about the nest box status?

There are golf balls in the nest boxes and the only other hen that is laying right now is using it consistently with no ‘mistakes’.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,503
20,780
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Southeast Louisiana
If she is laying it in the same spot on the coop floor and not from the roost that is her nest. You have that issue now. It is a pain, I've been there.

I made a couple of my nests with the ability to lock a hen in there if I want to. When I catch a hen on her nest laying where I do not want her to lay I lock her in the real nest until she lays the egg. That normally takes about a half hour but I had one that took 3 hours. Usually I just have to do that once to retrain them but I have had to repeat, also on that one that took 3 hours.

I've tried blocking off the area where she lays the eggs but that has never worked for me. She lays next to what I put there.

Something I have not tried but some people say it worked for them. Put a mobile nest where she is laying and get her used to laying in it. Then slowly and gradually move that nest a foot or two every two or three days toward where your real nests are. Hopefully she will move with it. Then when you get her in the area you want remove the temporary nest and see if she switches to your real nest. Or just make that temporary nest permanent.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
If she is laying it in the same spot on the coop floor and not from the roost that is her nest. You have that issue now. It is a pain, I've been there.

I made a couple of my nests with the ability to lock a hen in there if I want to. When I catch a hen on her nest laying where I do not want her to lay I lock her in the real nest until she lays the egg. That normally takes about a half hour but I had one that took 3 hours. Usually I just have to do that once to retrain them but I have had to repeat, also on that one that took 3 hours.

I've tried blocking off the area where she lays the eggs but that has never worked for me. She lays next to what I put there.

Something I have not tried but some people say it worked for them. Put a mobile nest where she is laying and get her used to laying in it. Then slowly and gradually move that nest a foot or two every two or three days toward where your real nests are. Hopefully she will move with it. Then when you get her in the area you want remove the temporary nest and see if she switches to your real nest. Or just make that temporary nest permanent.

Man.

No way for me to deal with this for a few weekends at least with work.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,527
130,118
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
She may catch on yet.
It can take up to a month or so for them to smooth things out.
If she's easy to 'handle' you might try putting her in a nest,
whether she's ready to lay at the moment or not,
just to show her 'hey, look at this'.
I assume nests are easy to access, pics might offer some clues.
Do you use the same bedding in nests as on the floor?
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
2,597
5,969
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Feather Falls, CA
Is your coop very dark? If so your hen may be laying on the floor because she is unable to see well enough to find the nest box. Happened to me, I now keep a night light in the coop, on day and night. Just a thought. :hugs
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
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It isn’t very dark, she is laying at 2 PM when it’s as bright as possible in the coop.
The nest boxes are off to the side. A third hen started laying yesterday!
Sure enough she used a nest box! The Easter Egger again laid on the floor on the same spot, before I got home from work (at which time it is dark anyway).

I do put shavings in the nest box but the hens like to move it out before laying it seems.

Photos of my first 3 egg day attached showing the boxes and also a photo of the coop under construction showing the window size and lighting present in there.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,527
130,118
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
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I do put shavings in the nest box but the hens like to move it out before laying it seems.

Photos of my first 3 egg day attached showing the boxes and also a photo of the coop under construction showing the window size and lighting present in there.
Maybe add more bedding to nests....or use different bedding in nests to differentiate between nest and floor. It wouldn't hurt to try and put something in the floor layers chosen spot(bucket, box, etc), it had been known to work, tho space looks to be at a premium
I wouldn't worry about it too much...pretty typical new layer behavior.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
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Well sure enough my EE laid in the nest box today!!! I didn’t do anything, think this is her 5th egg.
So now all 3 laying are in the nest box and I think I will have more laying any day now, look at these combs. I just set up the light bulb water de-icer.
 

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