How to get them in the nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pintail_drake2004, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. pintail_drake2004

    pintail_drake2004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, Monday one of our Ameraucana's laid an egg, just one day short of 18 weeks old. I was in the process of servicing the coop (spraying permethrin, adding wood savings to the nest box, filling water buckets, etc) when I looked over and say a little blue-green egg on the floor. I know they may take a few days/weeks to get accustomed to laying eggs, but I would like them in the nest box. We typically let them free range Sunday-Tuesday all day, and then from 2pm till dusk the days I work. I put golf balls in the nest boxes, and their is sign of a chicken getting in there and moving things around but no eggs in the box. We have not had an egg since monday. I don't want to hunt for eggs everyday, I want them in the box. How can we train them to lay in the box?
     
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put golf balls, plastic or wooden eggs, rocks, or real eggs (don't let them go bad) in the boxes.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You might want to confine them to coop and run for a week or two or more to 'train' them to lay in the coop nests. It can take up to a month or so for things to smooth out for new layers. Meanwhile, eggs everywhere, some of them can be rather funky looking, soft or thin shelled, huge double yolked eggs.
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with aart. You can't expect new layers to focus on the nest boxes unless they're confined to where the nest boxes are.

    If you give the new layers the open option of laying just anywhere their fancy falls, you get eggs all over the darned place.

    No need to keep the little darlings cooped up all day. Most of the laying will take place from sunup until early afternoon. After they have done their laying for the day, then turn them loose to free range.

    Keep up this schedule for a month, and I think you'll find that your young layers are depositing the goods where you want them.
     
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  5. pintail_drake2004

    pintail_drake2004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thanks for the replies. I talked to the fiancé and we will keep them in the coop/run until I get home at 2. Then let them out to free range.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd personally keep them in until later in the day, like just an hour or two before roost time.

    Tho most birds do lay between morning and early-mid afternoon, there is the 25 hour 'rule'. It takes about 25 or so hours from release of an ova to the laying of a shelled egg. A new ova will be released shortly after an egg is laid, so laying can get later and later in the day until they won't release a new ova that day but wait until the next. Now I've had a couple birds that almost always laid their egg at the same time of day, but most seem to shift later and later, then it's earlier again...and the whole flock is not always 'in sync'. It's not a absolute carved in stone 'rule', like most things chicken, but I've seen enough of that pattern to give it credence.

    .....and pullets are often not 'regular' at first, to say the least, so eggs can come any time of day and sometimes even night.

    Just something (else) to think about.
     
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  7. misskes

    misskes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in the same boat as you are. I have one hen laying and she lays different places every day it seems. I put fake eggs from Hobby Lobby in my nesting boxes and it's seeming to work so far. She started laying in the coop and finally laid her egg in the nesting box yesterday for the first time.

    Today she laid in the opposite side of the coop, but as long as it's not in the dirt it's still progress. Lol.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Here's the thing. No matter how old your layers are, no matter how experienced, you are apt to find an odd egg in surprising places other than a nest box every so often.

    And as well, you may assume everyone is all finished laying by 5pm and go back after that and find a late egg in a nest.

    I'm speaking as a chicken keeper who has nothing better to do than practically follow her chickens around and observe them as the most entertaining activity in my day, and I still get the occasional surprise.

    So the rule with chickens is to expect anything, but go by the law of averages when trying to manage them.
     
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