New layers: some have boxes figured out, some don't

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MightyThor, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. MightyThor

    MightyThor Just Hatched

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    I have 6 girls: 1 RIR, 1 Red Sex Link, 2 easter eggers, and 2 wyandottes. They are about six months old.

    I have three nesting boxes and a couple of weeks before I expected eggs I added bedding and golf balls to them.

    The RIR and RSL started laying a few weeks ago, and started right away using the nesting boxes. Their eggs have been good since the start. The other four haven't showed any interest in the boxes, but I figured they just weren't ready to lay yet. It's been a cold and rough winter here.

    Yesterday morning I went out to the coop and found two shell-less eggs on the poop board beneath the roost. This morning I found one more shell-less egg on the poop board and a very thin shelled egg on the coop floor below the roost.

    I'm not sure which chickens they came from, but I figure I can rule out the RIR and RSL since they've been chugging along just fine in the nesting boxes and the eggs have been good quality. I'm not so concerned about the shelless/thin shelled eggs, I know that it can take a few tries before a chicken gets it right. I switched the flock to layer feed when the first two started laying and they have access to oyster shell.

    I'm more concerned about the fact that they seem to be ignoring the nesting boxes.

    Will they figure that out as well? The RIR and RSL took to it so naturally that I expected the other chickens to pick it up from them. Can I do anything else to help them along and figure out that egg laying on the roost isn't a good idea? I do have a rooster that likes to strut around in the coop by the nesting boxes, he seems to be telling the ladies that's the spot. The roost is higher than and next to the nesting boxes. Pic below taken before the chicks moved in - you can see the edge of the nesting box row to the left of the roost.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    This is entirely normal with new layers -- the fact that the eggs are shell-less or thinly shelled, and arriving in odd places, go hand in hand -- the birds are just getting all the "moving parts" of their repro system up and running and they don't always all remember to do their job at the right time which can lead to eggs skipping a step (ie the shell gland) and being expelled at odd times (ie while the bird is at roost rather than during daylight hours while they are up and about and go to the nest).
    Give them a few more weeks and their systems will be running in good order *and* they will have grasped the idea of when/where to leave their eggs.
     
  3. MightyThor

    MightyThor Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the reassurance! This is my first flock so I want to make sure I'm doing things right for them. Had a beautiful brown egg in the nesting box this morning but I'm pretty sure it was another from Cheeto the RSL. No other 'accident' eggs yet.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    No problem -- we're all new at some point and you are doing the best thing you can which is to ask questions when there is something you are concerned about or just aren't quite sure about. You'll be an old hand at this before you know it!
     
  5. MightyThor

    MightyThor Just Hatched

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    Quick update - looks like everyone has it figured out now! Only one Easter egger left who hasn't laid, I'm sure she'll catch up soon. All these eggs were found in the nesting boxes yesterday and today. Yay girls!
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. bullets

    bullets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to hear everyone has it figured out!

    Now, please tell where you found that beautiful egg skelter at! I've checked online and all I can find are cheap looking ones.
     
  7. MightyThor

    MightyThor Just Hatched

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    Amazon. $25 :)
     

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