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Questions about preparing for eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WildflowerJLH, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. I have 8 pullets, 4 of which are almost ready to start laying. When we built our coop, we put in a laying "tunnel." Now that my girls' combs are getting bright red, they have started eating the oyster shell that is out. I am worried that they will start laying, and I won't know where they are laying!

    I have golf balls in the tunnel. They have been moved around a bit, but the girls don't go into the coop much during the day. They free-range in our yard all day. We have trees with low-lying branches all over our yard. They take naps under the trees and in the branches several times a day. Should I set up some nesting boxes in some of their preferred locations? I have some unused kitty crates that I could put straw in and place them around the yard. They also like to spend time in an unused doghouse in our yard.

    Thank you, in advance, for your ideas.


  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I wouldn't. I'd stick to having the hens lay eggs where I intend. Keep an eye out for them spending an unusual amount of time in one area of their yard or singing the egg song without having visited the coop. If you find eggs where you don't want them, lock the hens up for a week or so until they learn that the coop is where eggs are to be laid. If that sounds harsh, believe me it's a lot better than going on an easter egg hunt every day.
    Most times if they are comfortable and feel secure in their coop that's where they'll want to leave their eggs.
    Both of my flocks free range, but my girls always make it back to the coop to lay their eggs in the boxes.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:Much the same story here, and I agree.
  4. Everyone happily goes into the coop at dusk and when the weather is bad. So you think they are likely to go in to lay?
  5. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    What do you mean by laying tunnel? I'm trying to picture it.
    I would put some wooden eggs or golfballs where you want them to lay. I have two coops, one purchased used, one built. We were very late about adding the nestboxes to the one we built. When we put them in place, the chickens didn't go in that coop at all for a couple of days. When they finally did go in, someone seen the wooden eggs and next thing I know, I have chickens laying there as well.
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree.

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