Question about egg laying locations...outside of the nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CorgiHouse, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. CorgiHouse

    CorgiHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    Boring, OR
    I have an EE that just started laying a few days ago......and so far she has given us 3 eggs, and none were deposited in a nest box. This is the first pullet that I've had (of about 10 or so) that has not automatically gone into a nest box! The first egg was outside the henhouse, on the ground. The next 2 have been inside the henhouse, but on the floor, in the front corner.

    So my question for those that have had 'outside the box' layers, do they eventually start going in the nest boxes? Or is it likely she will always be a 'floor layer'? I've got golf balls in the nests to encourage the young'uns to lay in there. Any other suggestions? Should I leave one of HER eggs in a nest??
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    How high off the ground are your nestboxes? Are they in a well lit or dark area? Are they in an area where there is a lot of activity?

    Chickens like low to the ground and dark quiet places to lay. She may change where she lays. Try blocking off the area she is using an leave an egg or 2 in the nestbox.
  3. CorgiHouse

    CorgiHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    Boring, OR
    Quote:I have a row of boxes at ground level, and a row above those. NONE of my hens use the ground level boxes. Where this one chose to lay is only about 3 feet from the nest boxes, so same amount of traffic and lighting etc. Except that in the nest box would be more secluded, of course! The really strange thing is that this pullet and several others liked sleeping in the nest boxes when they were a bit younger (like a mos or so ago), so it's not like she doesn't like them or not *know* where they are. I just find it very strange.

    Thanks for the suggestions - I may end up blocking that corner she likes, but my feeling is that she would just pick another spot on the floor in the house......but if she continues there for the next couple of eggs, I'll give it a go.

    Thanks again!
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Do leave a golf ball or something in a lower nest box. It doesn't have to be her egg, or even an egg.

    Hopefully she is simply still learning about laying, or the hormones haven't fully kicked in that cause them to "nest" when laying. Maybe she didn't know the egg was coming. Mine often seemed to get it wrong one way or another for the first few weeks, then settle down and lay in nests. Some people have a hen or two that stay stubborn and lay in odd places.

    Actually, blocking off the spot she has been using just might be what it takes to get her into a nest. Worth a try, for sure.

    Good luck!
  5. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I have some that just will not use the nest boxes but they will try to lay in the trashcans that hold the feed in the kids forget it open. So I bought them their own little metal trash can, tossed the lid in the shed and put some hay in it. Now they fight over the stupid trashcan nest box. Sometimes you just gotta go with whatever works. Experiment a bit. I did have luck using plastic eggs in the nesting box with some of them. Others proved to be stubborn and they now use the trashcan box.
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    If she is a recent layer, like mine was that laid one from a 5 ft roost, I was told that she just might not have gotten the hang of it & is not making it to the nest box in time.
    It certainly sounds like she's trying to make it to the nest box if she's getting closer!

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