Keep finding eggs outside the nest boxes and coop??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swampwander, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. swampwander

    swampwander Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Mims, Fl
    OK, to clarify a little more. I see one egg in the box early in the day. OK, that's fine. Come out to lock the girls up at night (free range in the yard during the day) and the egg is outside the nest box, outside the coop in the yard. Nesting jealousy?? What's going on?? So far none broken. But I just don't get it. It seems to happen late in the day. No crows or animals other than the girls running amok.

    Five of my girls are 1 1/2 years, the OEG's are 1 year and there is one 8 month buff who just started laying.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    They need to be taught where to lay. Lock them in the coop for a couple of days - long enough for them to lay over a couple of cycles. They won't like it, but tough. If you haven't already, put golf balls or fake eggs in the nesting boxes to "show" them where to lay. You might even have to pick them up and put them in there. Keep a close eye on them and if they start to exhibit egg-laying behavior, put them in a box.

    Good luck!
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I usually gather my eggs as soon as I see one, mainly because I don't want the chickens to get the taste of eggs.....
  4. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    Most Chickens lay at the same time every day or thereabouts... so free rangers will lay em outdoors if that is where they are when it's "that time" and most do not lay in the evening...

    Even tho ours are all "indoor" birds, and there are plenty of nest boxes-- they prefer to build their own nests on the floor behind things.
    So I leaned a 4x4 panel against the wall to form a "tee-pee" and moved the grain bin so the space behind it is accessible...and that is USUALLY where they lay--- a couple do use the boxes.

    But every day there are eggs out in the open ...usually because they share nests and kick out eggs- or try stealing them to take to their nest!!!
  5. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    Sometimes a bird will not lay in a nest box because she is a submissive hen or because a bird is already on the nest she wants to use. Egg eaters are bad, but with plenty of nesting bedding they should not break the eggs.
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    That's weird.When I went out to feed my chickens I seen a brown egg out in the sand.Never happened before.All of my hens have been laying in the nest boxes since I got them.I have more than enough nests for them.It wasn't in a dug out nest or anything,just on top of the sand.
  7. Splash_Guard

    Splash_Guard Set Free

    Dec 3, 2008
    Chickens like to roll eggs, maybe it's their form of soccer.
  8. swampwander

    swampwander Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Mims, Fl
    The egg starts in the box, then ends up outside. It's not being laid outside. The girls (well, at least the BO's are) are good at laying in their boxes. I'm just wondering if the older hens would be tossing the one younger hen's eggs???
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  9. rschunk

    rschunk Out Of The Brooder

    I just started free-ranging my 6 chickens a couple weeks ago. They seem to be in a 'down' cycle, as I only get 2 to 3 eggs a day. I was getting 6 a day.

    I try to check the boxes periodically to collect as I was finding at least one broken/mashed egg a day and decided to free range them.

    This morning I let them out and checked boxes and found nothing, BUT, I saw two on the ground near the ramp out of the coop.

    Any suggestions?
  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    interesting dilemma. I had that happen a couple of times--- the most recent being yesterday. I'm pretty sure that the same hen that laid the egg moved it from the nest box area. It wasn't moved too far about 1 foot or 9". It made me wonder if she is tired of this human 'stealing' her eggs, and wants to move it to some 'safer' place where she could go broody.

    If you have a chance to determine if it is the laying hen or another hen---let us know. I'm curious that you left the egg after finding it. Are you trying to start a hatching, or just didn't have time to bring it in.

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