- Apr 23, 2019
Hello everyone! I have four chickens who are laying eggs outside in their muddy run. I’m wondering how to fix this behavior.. I hate that im losing 4 eggs everyday!
Do you have an adequate number of nests in the coop ?
You can wash the eggs, no reason to be losing them unless they are being broken.
Now, how old are your chickens? Are they new layers? Do you have any older flock members that are already established layers?
What I would do is put fake eggs, either a golf ball, ping pong ball, plastic Easter egg, over-priced ceramic egg from TSC, whatever, into several of the nesting boxes and leave them there. Best materials for a nesting box are a nest box pad, or a heavy layer of pine shavings. Straw isn't the best because it spreads out easier leaving the eggs susceptible to breaking on the ground, and harbors lice and mites easily in their hollow tubes. Nest boxes should be inside the coop, not outside. I know that's probably obvious, but I've seen some folks on here who had them outside, so I'm adding that just in case. Chickens are naturally inclined to lay eggs where they see eggs.
Did they used to lay in the nest boxes and then stopped or have they never laid in there?I have about 18 hens, and 5 nesting boxes (I read 1 box for every 4-6 hens). Do I need to add more? They always only lay in the same nesting box.
They’ve only ever used the two bottom ones.
They are being broken. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are laying them while on a sawhorse-type perch in their run which is about a 3 foot drop cause most of them are under the perch. Either that, or they lay while they are drinking water, and the water is on a pallet, so when they lay, it falls through the cracks on the pallet and break.
they’re about 7 months old. All started laying at the same time, I got them all at the same time. I have fake eggs in each of the boxes, and each of the boxes have a good amount of pine shavings. However, I did not know about the straw harboring lice and mites. Yikes! I will stop using straw as bedding on the coop floor ASAP. Thanks for the info! Is it OK out in the run? I like to sprinkle straw in the run when it snows/freezes over the the chickens have some dry place to walk. And yes, nesting boxes are inside
Me too thoughAs long as you collect them same day and wipe them off and pop them in the fridge, they should still be good. I've eaten sooooo many questionable eggs and not died! I once found a nest of 22 eggs in the woods. I did the float test and if they passed, I cracked them in a bowl and smelled them. If they looked and smelled good, I ate them. I ate all 22 eggs! I've eaten the soft shelled eggs dropped onto the poop board, and the normal eggs which were laid in the muddy winter run. So far so good!