laying eggs on the floor... is it ok?

yesfantina

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 16, 2011
60
0
39
Our 5 girls are 18 weeks old now. Down below is a picture of the inside of our small pre-fab coop (from CConly). Of corse ours is covered in wood shavings and poop decorated now :)

There are 3 roost bars leading up to the 'nesting area' which is a shelf with 2 dividers (splitting it into 3 'nesting boxes') There are no covers or anything, just the dividers on the shelf in front of the nest access door.

They were sleeping on the roost in the brooder, but when we moved them outside into the coop, instead of sleeping on the roosts, they started sleeping in the nesting area/boxes. Usually all crammed into one section. Occasionally a couple would move to the other sections. I kept hoping they would move out to the roosts on their own, but they didn't. We filled the nesting area w/ crumbled newspapers. They dind't care.. They were just more crowded in the nesting area.

A couple weeks ago, we added another roost - HIGHER than the nesting boxes, around the middle of the coop. Thinking maybe they were going to the nesting area cause it was the higher ground. And we removed the dividers, so the nesting area was just a long shelf. The still went to sleep there. My 20 year old daughter started going out every night and moving them to the roost. Finally last night was the first night she didn't have to move ANY of them. ! So they slept on the new roost.

Now.. eggs.... The 2 red stars started laying this week. (YAY!!)

We started noticing bowl/nest shape depressions in the wood chips BELOW the nesting area. It's covered by the shelf, so it's pretty much poop free. We figured if we ever had to leave them in their coop all day (like for blizzard or something) that's where we'd put water and food for them).

Well, we are up to 9 eggs now. All but 2 of them have been layed neatly in the bowl/nest shaped depression in the wood chips below the nesting area. Of the other 2, 1 - the very first - was in the nesting area. The other(yesterday) was randomly layed under the roosts in a not nested out area of the chips. Today's 2 were neatly in the bowl/nest under the nesting area.

Soo... we bought a nesting box. Rugg-egg http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/ZXeHx_FIYbOUhYma_eVEHjIbPhF1ifCr87K7X29f3hPmYhlYPlOXnuiNjebt9akjaFFBmXQawmuPP4BCyFi8oSc95RZN042drUh7u4l99bi_wZE38Gk5lT7OsusGba_lY69NOk0P8GmmSxYcCJm4Cz6qC4j4GRO5xYvmEVWstXUzABOaCzWZwSt4UnKpCrWk

and
put it on the nesting shelf in the corner facing the middle of the shelf. Filled it with wood chips,.. put a ceramic egg in as well as the one i found yesterday in the coop. .. Yet todays eggs are still under the shelf in their self made nest.

My question - is this ok? My daughter is at the point of 'just leave them ALONE mom!' She feels they've found the place they want to lay and we should just let them do it there. I'm thinking that it's a pain to get them OUT there - and in the winter it may be harder to move the nest shelf (which we have to do every day to get to the eggs they've layed under it). I WANT them to be laying on the nesting shelf somehow somewhere.. Dont' I?

Here's our coop inside
http://cconly.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/100_8700.7193251_std.JPG

Thanks for reading and for any advice
-Tina
 

Tripp16

Songster
8 Years
May 26, 2011
1,946
10
141
North Carolina
Hi I know how you feel. My girls do the same thing.

They were laying in the box until a snake came in a scared them to death by eating their eggs.


SO now they lay in the corner of the house below the roosting bar.

Mine isnt hard to get to so I just dont worry about it. I let them lay where they want to.

Now you said you had to move something to get ot them. Now thats when I would block that area off, then go get each one set them in the area you want them lay.

This normally works for me but sometimes it doesnt. Worth a shot. Maybe someone else will chime in!

Good luck!!
 

JustaJemIam

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 10, 2011
12
0
22
I just let mine lay where they are comfortable. I worry more about them laying while they are free ranging.
 

JHillgrove

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
99
1
39
Snohomish, WA
Put some fake eggs in the nesting boxes. They will see the eggs and think its a safe place to lay their own.
But it might also be that they like to lay in dark, out of the way areas, maybe they would like it if you put a roof on the boxes, maybe that would make it seem darker and more secluded. I have even seen people make a smaller entrance to the boxes so it is darker inside.
But I would try the fake eggs first before the remodel.
 

Yay Chicks!

Songster
9 Years
Apr 15, 2010
3,784
58
213
Forest Grove, OR
It sounds like they are telling you that they are more comfortable laying at a lower level in a more secluded spot. You could put the box you bought right where they are laying now, with a fake egg or golf ball in it and see what happens. They might get freaked out at first my the change, however.
 

yesfantina

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 16, 2011
60
0
39
Quote:We worried about that too - but
a couple days ago they were out freeranging (which they only do supervised now) and my daughter was putting them back into the run cause she had to come inside, and couldnt' find one of them. The 2 of us spent about 10 minutes looking for her, before i walked by the run and noticed.. hmm all 5 ARE inside.. and there inside the coop under the shelf was a nice warm egg.

So even free-ranging, she came inside when she wanted to lay the egg! Yay chicken!
 

Mommy 2 Wee Ones

Songster
8 Years
May 19, 2011
735
35
138
North Texas
Found my first egg outside near the water container, the second in the corner beside the bag of wood shavings. Have the golf balls in the nest box, but the two that are laying, have not wanted to lay in the nest box yet.

By the way, I LOVE the inside of your coop, it is SOOOOO PRUTY!
 

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