Pullets laying outside of the coop - what to do?

spiritpots

Songster
May 17, 2018
116
219
157
Afton, Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I hope someone can help me as I have not had this problem before! I have four pullets and a couple have just begun to lay over the past three days. Although they have been checking out the nesting boxes in the coop, they have started laying their first eggs outside in a corner by a tall wooden fence. I have four older chickens but only one of them is laying every few days now due to molting and the shorter days.

I'm thinking that since most of older girls aren't actively laying the younger ones perhaps aren't really sure where to lay. My coop is within an enclosed run, however I free range my chickens all day. This morning as soon as I opened the coop/run one of the pullets, Camille, ran straight to the fence, which is quite a distance from the coop. I picked her up and took her back into the coop closing her in, hoping that she would settle down and lay in one of the nesting boxes. In the meantime I blocked off the corner of the fence to keep the other pullets out but one of them flew over the barrier and laid in the corner again anyway.

Once the ground is covered with snow the girls prefer to spend most of the day in the run. I think this situation will probably resolve itself on its own eventually but if anyone has and thoughts for now I would truly appreciate it! I don't like having to contain Camille... and she doesn't like it either!!
 

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