not laying in nest boxes


In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 21, 2008
Southern Indiana
I have 24, 21 week old, RIR's, Wyandottes & Araucanas. They started laying 2 weeks ago and I am now getting around 7 eggs/day. The chickens have a nice coop, run and free range most of the day. I have 1 hen who is laying in a dark spot outside the coop next to one of our horses stalls, and I have 1 hen who continues to just drop her egg in the middle of the chicken run, no straw anywhere, just on the dirt.

Should I keep them all in the run for around 3 days to try to get the odd 2 hens out to lay where they are suppose to, or what should I do, like block off the laying spot by the horse's stall? I want to do this right, but don't want to have to look all over the farm for where they might be laying every day. Today I left them in the run all day and I received 5 eggs in the nest boxes and 1 in the middle of the run.

Thanks for all your help.


The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
I have to tell you that ours are cooped all the time and they lay like clockwork. they are happy, don't fight, love their treats, know where to lay, and never give us a hard time. And we have only had them 7 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!


11 Years
Oct 4, 2008
North Central Florida
You can try leaving the eggs in the nests longer so that the others will see that it is a good place to lay. You can also get fake eggs and place in the boxes. New hens will tend to do that until they find a box that they like. Make sure that the nesting area is reasonably dark. They feel more secure in a darkened area. I have caged and free range and some of the free range just don't like the hen house and were laying all over the place. I took a couple of plastic totes and cut a hole in one end, threw in some hay and placed them near one of their favorite hang out araes. Now they can't wait to get in them to lay their eggs. They literally line up and wait their turn.

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