my hens dont always lay in the coop! Help!!!

dma42285

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 29, 2013
2
0
7
Eastern Massachusetts
So I have 10 hens (8 different breeds) Im pretty sure only 4 of them are laying right now.My problem is that some times they lay in the coop and some times they dont. I have found 2 different spots (by the base of trees) that they have laid. One of the spots I found 7 eggs the other I found 2 eggs. They are just over 5 months old. I clean the coop every week and they have fresh water and food every day plus free range of my yard and garden. I have also kept them in the coop for a week to see if they will get the idea that, that is where they should be laying. I have 2 questions...

1. what else can I do to make my hens understand that they are supposed to lay in they are supposed to lay in the coop?

2. When do you think my other hens will start laying?
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,321
401
Do you have nest boxes? If so, how big are they and how dark are they? Hens need nest boxes about 12 inches square, and they prefer them to be somewhat secluded. If another spot is more comfortable and more private, they may choose it.

I recommend putting fake eggs in the place you want your hens to lay. You can get plastic Easter eggs and fill them with sand or rocks, buy ceramic fake eggs, or use golf balls. The purpose of putting fake eggs in a nest box is to make the hen think that other birds have been laying there.

Have your birds just started laying? New layers often have problems finding the correct place to lay an egg. It usually takes them a while to find the correct place. For example, my Columbian Wyandottes first egg was laid in the middle of the run, but after that, she has always laid in a nest box.

Depending on the breed, most chickens start laying at 5-7 months old. Lighter, more egg-type breeds like Leghorns, and Sex-Links will start laying sooner than heavy breeds like Brahmas or Cochins.
 

dma42285

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 29, 2013
2
0
7
Eastern Massachusetts
Yes I have nest boxes, I have 8 boxes and are 18in by 18in. and are somewhat secluded. Some of them have started laying. My average eggs a day are 3. but some times i get 2 and some times i get 4.
I have 9 different breeds:
Deleware
Rhode Island White
Rhode Island Red
2 Silver Wyandottes
Speckled Sussex
Golden Sex Link
Black Sex Link
Black Australorp and
Buff Orphington
 

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