I want to change where my chickens lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3eyedchicken, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. 3eyedchicken

    3eyedchicken In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2015
    Hey everyone ! I'm brand new to BYC as a member. I've used this community to answer many questions in the past but it seems that no one has asked this question so here it goes.

    We recently modified and expanded our chicken area in anticipation of getting new hens.

    Our 6 hens who have been sharing 2 nesting boxes now have 5 new areas to lay and beside using a placebo egg are there any other ways to encourage them to lay in the new areas ?
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    This can be a tough one. chickens are powerful creatures of habit and don't like change. Besides using bait eggs, I'm thinking you'll have to completely deny them access to the old laying spot until they establish a new habit. They'll likely fuss and squawk and carry on like you're kicking their puppy, but they'll eventually get over it.
  3. Messipaw

    Messipaw Songster

    Apr 3, 2013
    I agree. I just experienced this myself. I rearranged their pen and had to remove an old rabbit hutch that my hens loved laying in. My eight girls have five other nesting boxes. All clean and private. I noticed a drop in eggs, found a secret stash behind some flowers. I put them in lock down. LOL
    I gave them no choice but to use their nest boxes. I didn't allow them to free range for a week. Now everything seems back to normal.
    Good luck
  4. You just confirmed what I was thinking I should be doing, locking my hens in their coop/run for a while. I am having issues with missing eggs. We have 17, 14mo/old, hens and a coop with 6 nest boxes. I had noticed a decrease in the eggs I was collecting form the nest boxes several weeks ago. I thought that maybe with the heat, they were slowing their egg production a bit. But then, last week, we discovered an egg stash in the center of some 4ft tall ornamental grass. I caught one of our hens going in there. That's the only reason I found it. There were 11 eggs in that grass. Three I threw away because they wanted to float in water. Well..I usually collect about 14-15 eggs a day. I'm now down to 5-8! I have looked everywhere I can in and around our back yard and all around the house in our flower beds/under shrubs. I have even gone as far as searching the woods next to the coop in our back yard. They are filled with poison ivy and I am extremely allergic, so that is how desperate I am to find out where they are laying. I had also found a 4-5ft black snake in the nest box area, twice last week and the Thursday before that. I carried it away, but it could be coming back for a snack. But somehow, I don't think it would be consuming all of the missing eggs in one meal. The snake I found didn't have any visible lumps in its middle. It seemed cold and slow. I am missing all of the smaller eggs that our Dominiques lay and a few of the large Orpington eggs. We are also having issues with feather picking on the hen's backs, and last night when I was picking up the balding chickens, I found that they were missing feathers on their abdomens, to either side of their keel bones and up under their wings. I am going to dust for mites/lice. I guess that I will go to the Disease part of this forum to ask their advice for that treatment. We have lots of wild birds that are always in and around the run. I read that chickens can pick up a different kind of mite from wild birds that is harder to eradicate. Figures! I don't know why, but I thought that keeping chickens would be a heck of a lot easier than it's turning out to be! [​IMG]
  5. Messipaw

    Messipaw Songster

    Apr 3, 2013
    Do you have a dust bath for them? In mine it's a mix of wood ash, food grade DE, Garden dirt, poultry dust and sand. This helps prevent any issues for me. You would need to dust your girls with DE. Search lice/mites you will find great information. Good luck.
  6. cicknmama

    cicknmama Songster

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hardin, Montana
    If some of your hens are broody they will stop laying. They also pick out their feathers in those areas. Might look in to that also.

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