Training young hen to lay in nesting box.

Faraz1

Chirping
Aug 16, 2019
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So I have a young hen that has recently started to lay. She is now laying regularly for the last week or so initially one egg every other day and now one egg daily. However the eggs are being laid all over the place. First time she laid it was in the nesting box, second time also. I thought all was well, however third time the eggs was randomly laid in the run and fourth/fifth/sixith time it has been in the coop right at the back which resorts to me using a rake to retrieve the egg !

I have found that the eggs are being laid every other day, and the day before laying she is quite detached from the rest of the flock doing her own thing, spending time in the dark coop whilst the other chickens go around the garden free ranging.

Any ideas on how to train her to start laying regularly in the nesting box? I have another 2 pullets who should start laying in a week or so so i don't want to encourage bad behaviours with everyone starting to lay in the coop.
 
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Ursuline Chick

Chicken Outlaw
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Jul 21, 2017
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I used ceramic eggs in the boxes so they got the idea of what to do in them. I've read that if you find a chicken setting, you can move her in the nest. My girls figured it out pretty quick. As soon as one used the box, they all followed suit.

Now if only all this worked for my ducks....
We always keep ceramic or wooden eggs in a couple of our nests and it has worked like @Aunt Angus
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Yep, fake eggs.
Just make sure they are heavy enough(plastic egg can be filled with sand) not to be easily scratched out of the nest, and that the front of nest is a good 4-6" above the nest bedding.

Even then, new layers are still figuring things out so it can take up to a month for things to smooth out.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Jul 3, 2016
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If the fake eggs don't help after giving it a few days and this continues to be a problem, some folks have had success with this method, which is what I do:

Now this isn't practical if you don't have time to stalk them, but what I did was I learned the problem bird(s) laying schedules, and when they went to their preferred spot to lay, I'd go and pick them up, stick them in a nest box, and barricade them in using my arms to cover the exit. 30-60 seconds was all they needed to calm down and start exploring the box and decide that maybe it wasn't such a bad place to be. They each started reliably using the boxes after that.

Alternatively, some folks design "doors" on their nest boxes so birds can be locked in, which basically does the same as above, but forces the bird to stay in the nest box (whereas once I see them exploring and sitting down in the nest, I leave them to it and walk away).
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
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If the fake eggs don't help after giving it a few days and this continues to be a problem, some folks have had success with this method, which is what I do:

Now this isn't practical if you don't have time to stalk them, but what I did was I learned the problem bird(s) laying schedules, and when they went to their preferred spot to lay, I'd go and pick them up, stick them in a nest box, and barricade them in using my arms to cover the exit. 30-60 seconds was all they needed to calm down and start exploring the box and decide that maybe it wasn't such a bad place to be. They each started reliably using the boxes after that.

Alternatively, some folks design "doors" on their nest boxes so birds can be locked in, which basically does the same as above, but forces the bird to stay in the nest box (whereas once I see them exploring and sitting down in the nest, I leave them to it and walk away).
Never thought about closing them in the nest box. But then I've not had this problem persistently... except for my ducks who have now decided it's more fun to lay in the run. Silly ducks. I won't be locking them in (especially since they lay before I wake up), but I can see how that would work for chickens.
 

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