Training my hens to lay only in their nesting boxes...?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EurekaSouth, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. EurekaSouth

    EurekaSouth Chirping

    So far, I've always left my 11 girls in their pen until they had laid at least 8-9 eggs, and then let them out for the day (about one o'clock and when there's someone home) They've been laying for over two months now - can I let them out earlier and they will go back to their nesting boxes to lay or should I always do that? I like to let them out every chance I get.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Mine go back to lay their eggs... but I do ocasoinally find eggs on top of the hay pile, and under bushes. I free range sun up to sun down though...
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    I always keep the girls in til noon to give them a chance to lay and to protect them from the morning predators. They always come back to lay if they need to later in the day. I have some hens that wait til everyone is free ranging and then they choose to lay. I would never allow my hens to free range without someone being home to monitor the flock.

  4. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    Keep doing it the way you are for a little bit longer, another month or two. Then they will go back to the nest boxes to lay automatically.
  5. FrozenChicken

    FrozenChicken Songster

    Apr 1, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    Keeping feed,oyster shell and water near the nestbox will always encourage the hens to lay in them.
  6. I'm not sure why you would need to wait any longer. Ours learned where to go after a week. And getting back in our coop ain't easy! We haven't had any real issues w/ it.

    You could try it for a day and see what happens!
  7. HFC

    HFC Chirping

    Oct 29, 2007
    Crosby, TX
    Mine go out first thing in the morning and stay 'til dark. When a pullet starts laying or if the coop door accidently gets shut, I'll find one here and there in the bushes-although rare. If they're laying eggs anywhere else, I've yet to find them.
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    I've always let mine out during the day, but they've always went inside the coop to lay. The firt few months they were laying I didn't even have nest boxes, they just laid the eggs in the corners. When I finally built nest boxes in there, they were lining up to use them before I had even finished. One was jumping up in there while I was trying to work. Before I could collect my tools and head out the door there were three setting in the boxes. They've all laid in the nest boxes ever since.
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    If mine are free ranging I just leave the run gate open, they come back to the coop to lay.
  10. debashan

    debashan Songster

    Aug 11, 2007
    Oquawka, IL
    Mine always go back to lay, even when they're free ranging.

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