Need to get chickens to lay eggs back in coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crankyyanky1, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. crankyyanky1

    crankyyanky1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2016
    My chickens are laying eggs everywhere but where they should be it is a easter egg hunt which I am not winning I thought they had stopped laying because of the shorter days until I found a stash until I put 2 and 2 together so this is what happened and hopefully someone has some advice for me I have free range chickens that roost in a coop at night that I lock up one night with the earlier nights around 450 it wasn't even dark yet I went out to get ready to lock them up and a posum was in their hen house and was attacking one of them my husband killed it but he had killed the chicken they all slept in the trees that night I couldnt climb the trees to get to them to get them out but the next night the slowly went back in the hen house but they did lay eggs in the coup a few days later my son had surgery in another state and my other son was watching them another possum came around but he got it before it got near them but it scared them after that everything calmed down everyone was ok sleeping in hen house no more possums but only one egg a day in the nest I couldn't understand it, but I thought it was because of the winter until yesterday I found the motherload under a tarp and today I found a dozen in our shed. How do I get them to lay in the coop again. Since they have been free ranging would it be cruel to lock them up in the pen for a while to get them used to the pen for a while or will they go crazy I am new to chickens so excuse all the questions but I don't know what to do
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    How many chickens do you have? Do you have a run (fenced in area) attached to your coop? If so, how big is it? How big is your coop? If you have a decent sized coop - big enough that they won't be over crowded, or even a smaller coop with attached run - I'd lock them in for a good week or so to reset their little chicken brains to laying there. If you just have one of those little doll house coops, I'd recommend adding a run to it (covered) and then locking them up. Is it "cruel"? No. Will they fuss about it? For sure. But you are the human. You get to be the boss. They'll get over it. As long as they have fresh food and water, plenty of space and fresh air, and you're not doing anything to cause them harm, you are not being "cruel".
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  3. crankyyanky1

    crankyyanky1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2016
    I hav e 5 Leghorns and 2 silkies the coop is 8 x 10 and the run is fenced in because I was originally going to fence them in and it is about 20 x 40 thats just a estimate it may be a little bigger
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    First thing I'd do is get that coop predator-proofed. It's critical. Getting them back in there to lay and sleep will mean that you have to get tough, get them protected, and then make them stay in there for a few days - even a week or more - to calm them. Make sure there is no way to end up with a repeat of the possum invasion. They have been totally traumatized and don't feel the coop is the safe haven they once thought it was, and no place to raise a family! The second thing I'd do is build a run, also predator-proofed. Use hardware cloth or tightly woven welded wire as a skirt around the coop/run, then partway up as an apron so that nothing can dig underneath.

    Lots of folks think that having a run attached to your run is the only way to make sure that when you can't be there, they can still get out for fresh air, a little "wing room" and safety. I'm one of them. In fact, I've been quite vocal in my other posts that I believe the run isn't an addition to the coop, it's a major part of it. Your job at all times is to protect, protect, protect! I have a sizeable run attached to my coop and my chickens spend more time out there than they do in the coop. Right now it's -1 degree and the chickens are all out in the run. Because my setup is as secure as humanly possible, I don't have to close my pop door - it's open 24/7 so they can come and go as they please.

    Your birds aren't being difficult - they are just protecting themselves. Good luck!

    Edited: I need to look at that "new post" thingy down on the bottom! I see you have a run already. Use it. But somehow you have a breech in your defenses and you have to remedy that before you do anything.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017

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