Outdoor nesting box for free rangers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hobie Ranch, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Hobie Ranch

    Hobie Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2009
    We have 10 chickens who started laying about a month ago. They are laying in their boxes, but we let about half of them out for part of each day to free range in the yard. I've thought of building an outdoor nesting box onto the side of the shed for layers who are stuck outside when they get the urge to lay. Any reason not to? (I have found a few eggs outside - our only two soft shelled ones and one good one smack in the middle of the lawn.)
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida

    I think things are easier when the hens are oriented to laying in the nest boxes in their coop. Then there's less chance of eggs going to waste being lost in the yard. You could put a nest box out in the yard but they may not use it, preferring instead their own private laying place the little voices in their heads direct them to.

    I keep mine in their coop until about 2 or 3 pm, then let them out for recess. Most of them will have laid by then, and those who haven't yet will often come back into the coop to lay. They're creatures of habit & slaves to fashion. They don't like to think too much about where to lay, it just hurts their little heads. That's why fake eggs in a nest box inspire them to lay their eggs there too.

    They're like trendy NYC parents of preschoolers. They all want to leave their kids in the most fashionable of daycare centers. "Look" they say, "other hens laid their eggs there, it MUST be good!" When they see a broody hen in a nest box they get really excited. "Wow! She thinks that place is good for raising chicks, I have GOT to lay an egg there too!"
  3. Capone

    Capone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Rhode Island
    what the hay, give it a shot
  4. Hobie Ranch

    Hobie Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2009
    Thanks for the input. Hmmm. I may just try it and see if there is any success - and I'll report back.
  5. NotTheMomma

    NotTheMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Twice I have found nests outside the coop. First time with 18 eggs in it, and the next time with 13 eggs. I leave the coop door open for them to go back in. Some do, and some don't. I personally don't see the harm in putting a nest outside as long as you'll be letting them out everyday so the ones that like laying in the outside nest will have access to it.

    I've locked mine in the coop for a few days to see if they will lay where they are suppose to!

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