Not laying in nesting boxes...

tripletfeb

Songster
Jun 9, 2018
615
1,949
216
The little farm, northern Ohio
Hi all! I have 5 pullets that will be one year old at the end of April. 2 EEs and 3 SLW. They have all been laying great all winter. I feed them Purina Layer crumbles, oyster shell free choice, and once a week, they get a handful of mealworms. I have 3 nesting boxes that they have been happily sharing for months. Some days all eggs will be in one box, other days they will be in seperate boxes. For the past 2 weeks, one of my EE has been laying right outside the box. I didn't think anything of it at first, just figured the box was occupied when she needed to lay. But it's been an every day thing now. And today, my other EE laid outside the box! Is there any way to encourage them to use the boxes again? Nothing has changed in their coop, nobody is being mean to others. I'm just confused why the nesting boxes wouldn't be good enough all of a sudden. ETA that they have been free ranging while I was outside with them
 

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Chikngal

Chirping
Apr 3, 2019
31
93
51
When our chickens free range they lay wherever they please. Now that they have a huge run and don’t get to free range all day they don’t lay in the yard anymore. We had one that would go into the garage and sit in the pine shavings and lay her egg.
 

tripletfeb

Songster
Jun 9, 2018
615
1,949
216
The little farm, northern Ohio
Thanks for the replies all! I will put their ceramic eggs back in. I can't block off where they have been laying because that would be blocking one of the nests! They have been laying right outside the one nest. Almost like they want to use it but it was occupied. But no eggs have been in it so no one else has been laying in it. Im just confused! But I will put their fake eggs back in, hopefully that will help.
 

Fairview01

Songster
Jan 26, 2017
999
1,391
196
Dallas, TX
They're chickens. Dont try to figure them out. My cornish have decided the far corner of the coop is the ideal location despite having a nest box. An entire new crop of pullets occupy this particular coop this year. Never laid an egg this year and they choose the same spot as the hens did last year.

I just go with it. I even put the ceramic egg 8n that spot when they started laying there this year. I'm just happy that they are all in one spot and spread out whatever.
 

arkansas_ash

In the Brooder
Dec 30, 2017
9
34
37
And it is spring, which usually means egg laying goes up as each hen wants to lay their egg at the same time due to the warming up weather so they don't want to wait for the nest box to be empty. Oftentimes one nest box is favored over the other, probably for the fact that if they all lay in one box that there's a better chance of their egg being hatched. Gotta think like a chicken.:)
I had a couple of my chickens laying under the roost where the poop drops, the two skittish ones, but they eventually started laying in the nest box again.
 
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