Where or where are they laying those eggs?

worlc

Hatching
May 22, 2015
4
0
7
I have 8 young chicks that are not ready to lay. Most of them seem to find their way into the coop at night. However the two silkies are always lost and I have to go find them. Are they just not smart? The other problem is that we adopted 4 layers from family and they can't seem to decide where to lay their eggs. Sometimes they are in the goat shed. Sometimes they are under the roosting bar. Sometimes they are way under the coop where I can't reach. I have fresh straw in all the nesting boxes and I even added some sacrificial eggs to give them a hint. I have also picked up every layer and put her in the boxes so they know they are there. Advice?
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,040
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I have 8 young chicks that are not ready to lay. Most of them seem to find their way into the coop at night. However the two silkies are always lost and I have to go find them. Are they just not smart? The other problem is that we adopted 4 layers from family and they can't seem to decide where to lay their eggs. Sometimes they are in the goat shed. Sometimes they are under the roosting bar. Sometimes they are way under the coop where I can't reach. I have fresh straw in all the nesting boxes and I even added some sacrificial eggs to give them a hint. I have also picked up every layer and put her in the boxes so they know they are there. Advice?

Welcome to BYC.
What process did you go through when you brought your adopted layers home? Did you "home" them to the coop/run by confining them for a period? Moving an actively laying bird will often interrupt production for a period and this can make nest training them to the new location more difficult if production does not resume prior to releasing them from their initial confinement period. Do you have a run that is able to be used to confine them to the area immediately around the coop for a period? Your best bet for succesful retraining is to confine them for a week or more so that the nests you want them to use are the only best option available and they form the habit of that being the place they go to lay. Once they are firmly in the habit, release them and do a trial run. Keep an eye on your daily egg counts and if/when you see a drop it's time to do another round of homing them to the nests.
Also, rather than using real eggs for bait it is better to use wooden/ceramic eggs, golf balls, etc to avoid the issue of nests getting fouled if one is broken and/or decrease the chance of inadvertently starting an egg eating habit.
 

worlc

Hatching
May 22, 2015
4
0
7
We have a large chicken run, about 12ftx 36 ft. When we brought them home we were worried about them pecking the young hens so we separated the yard and gave them a small coop for a few days. When I let them mingle I closed off the small coop so they cant get in there. No I didn't confine them to the large coop though. Gosh that seems so cruel. I guess I will give that a try though. Thank you!
 

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