Not laying in nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Amyrushell, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Amyrushell

    Amyrushell New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2010
    Hello,
    We got our chicks in the spring and one (maybe more, but definitely the Astralorpe) began recently laying, but to our surprise, we found the eggs in the bushes and not in the nest box. I collected them and put one in the next box to see if that would cue her to lay there, but the next day she laid another egg in a different bush spot! How do you get confused chickens to lay in their nest?

    Also, do chickens lay more than 1 egg a day? We're trying to figure out if there are more than just the one egg laying eggs so far. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    When they first start laying they do odd things, lay while walking, lay in odd places, even lay odd eggs.

    Many people put some sort of fake egg in each nest box. This says to the chicken, this must be a good place to lay because someone else already laid there. Golf balls or plastic easter eggs work fine. If it's something as light as a plastic easter egg, it helps to fill it with something like sand so they don't kick it out so readily. If you have some rocks shaped kind of like an egg, that works, too. They are easily fooled.

    You may have to close them up til they lay for a few days, til they get the idea of using the nest box. If they are sleeping in the nest box, you need to stop this. They need to see it as the place eggs go, and not the place to sleep. It also gets the eggs poopy. If they are sleeping in the nest boxes you need to close them off or remove them at night for a while. Might have to leave them in the coop til around 4 PM or so; usually they will not lay that late but wait til the next day. Usually. As a rule they do not lay in the dark. Some people use a night light in the coop -- this can cause them to lay at night.

    If you've gotten more than one egg in a day, you almost undoubtedly have more than one chicken laying.

    It will take more than a day for them to catch on. Just stick with it.

    and [​IMG]
     
  3. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    The girls will lay where they feel comfortable to do so. So, unfortunately, it isn't always where we want them to.
    I have Black Minorca who I didn't know if she was laying yet until my husband found a nest in the corner of the grainery with 24 eggs piled in it. At least I know to look there and collect them. I have found 3 other nests of stockpiled eggs too. I know there are some hiding their eggs somewhere, but haven't found any more.
    Keep and eye on them and see where they go and spend a while and then check.
    Otherwise, try what ddawn says. The fake egg in the nest is a good trick for most of them just starting.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Amyrushell

    Amyrushell New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2010
    Thank you both for your replies. I am a total newbie in this and it is so fun, but I don't know what the heck I'm doing! Thanks for the info, will put all ideas into practice!
     
  5. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i had to re do my nesting box situation because they were eating their own eggs. They were champs at laying in the box, now i am 1 for 7, the other 6 have been laid on the floor in the corner of the coop. I got them in the habbit by using fake wooden eggs, 99 cents from the feed store, now i cant use them because the nesting boxes are angled so the eggs roll behind a sub wall where they cant get them.

    So, my suggestion echos the above, lock them in the coop for up to a week, let them out only in the later afternoon after they would normally have laid. Try the wooden eggs or equivalent, also try putting bricks or rocks in the places they have already laid, it will prevent them from laying there again.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    If I'd gone to the trouble of building rollaway nests, I'd be gluing or screwing those fake eggs in there!

    Amyrushell, you're doing exactly what you need to, reading and asking. I spend entirely too much time on here, but I've learned so much about how to handle my chickens.
     
  7. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    now that is a good idea, i made the angled nesting box floors removable, so if they mess them up i can take them out and clean them, now i am going to remove them and screw the wooden eggs in there, i just have to position them so they dont prevent the eggs rolling away.

    I went to the trouble because i was loosing about 6-8 eggs per week, when i have 6 laying birds that prevents me from selling a second dozen and then the birds are not "self sustaining" financially. I dont need them to be, but its a bit of an experiment.
     

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