Training new layers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MicroMaverick, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. MicroMaverick

    MicroMaverick Out Of The Brooder

    34
    2
    24
    Nov 13, 2015
    Inwood, Iowa
    I have a small flock of 38 birds that I hatched June 12, 2015. They're about the age where they should start laying and I finished their coop 2 weeks ago. Should I put fake eggs in some of the nesting boxes to make sure they know where to lay their eggs, or see if they figure it out on their own?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,874
    2,849
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Are you supplementing light in the coop? If not, you may not see these young pullets reach point of lay until the days begin lengthening again, sometime after the new year. It often requires exposure to at least twelve hours of light per day to stimulate the egg laying hormones. It doesn't require much wattage to achieve this, even a 60 watt bulb will do.

    If you do supplement light, it's best to set it on a timer to come on two hours before sun rise.

    Salting the nest boxes with some fake eggs is a great way to get the hint across that these places are good egg laying spots. Even though they may not be ready to produce eggs right now, they may start exploring the nest boxes and playing house in them, all normal learning behavior.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,609
    4,249
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have always put fake eggs in the boxes to draw them in, so I would recommend them, I haven't really found that light affects the first season of laying too much, they might be up to a month behind and don't really become consistent until February or March but most of my June hatched chicks will start by December.
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,650
    187
    186
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I've never used fake eggs they figured it out
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,491
    14,162
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    If a hen decides that somewhere other than a nest is a good place to lay, i simply pick them up and put them in the nest -they soon get the idea.

    CT
     
  6. MarySue

    MarySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    42
    96
    Jul 24, 2015
    Sedro-Woolley, WA
    I have a pullet that is going into the nest, sitting awhile, leaves the nest, sings her egg song, goes to get a drink and then poops...an egg. Any ideas if she'll mature past this?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,609
    4,249
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    She should, I swear they can't feel their bottoms at the start of laying.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. MarySue

    MarySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    42
    96
    Jul 24, 2015
    Sedro-Woolley, WA
    You were right, oldhenlikesdogs! She figured it out about a week later. Thanks for the good advice!
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,609
    4,249
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Great to hear
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by