Where will they lay?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 22, 2009
Olympia, WA
My first flock of 10. They are all between 18-21 weeks. No eggs so far. They coop at night and range in a fenced yard of about 1/3 acre during the day. If they lay in the yard, are they likely to make a nest? Drop them anywhere? Under brush? I am searching the yard every day. One of the buff orpingtons keeps making the egg laying cackle, but I cannot find any eggs anywhere. Any advice is welcome.

Do you have nest boxes in the coop and can they get back to it during the day? I had fake eggs in the nests boxes and they have all layed in the nest boxes so far but one that makes a nest on the floor of the coop. Even now that they have been laying for about a month, if I am letting them free range for most of the day out of the chicken yard, they head back to the coop to lay.
They have nice nesting boxes in the coop that they have access to all day-I put a golf ball in each one. I want an egg!!
I'd say that the cackle egg song means it won't be long to wait.

My prediction: you will have your first egg within the next two weeks.

Good luck,

We had one that didn't sing the song until the day she laid, and she sang for a few hours first. An EE sang for a few weeks before she finally laid. If you're concerned about where the eggs will end up, you can lock them in the coop during the morning for a few extra hours. You can always wait until they start laying to do that.

I have found eggs in a nests on the property on a few occasions. Mine are out from morning til night. The EE's are ALWAYS the culprit! They dont' wanna lay in the coop nests, they want to make their own nests and lay in them. I've found one nest near the woodpile, that has a piece of tin covering the wood. The tin overhangs a bit, and the hens think that's a fabulous place for a nest. They've reverted back to that same nest twice now. Another nest was in the garage on rocks! They made an indention in the gravel, and laid right there! So much for a nice, soft nest. The other nest was beside our burn pile, in tall grass. I had an EE that started laying in the basement window well. She laid there a few weeks, and finally went back to the coop.

If they are out, some will decide to lay wherever. Or at least that's been my experience.
my golden laced wyandotte was the only one to lay outside the coop. i think we let them out to soon. now noone comes out before three, even on the weekends.
Do you have any additional lighting for the shorter days? I have a light in the coop that goes out at 9pm and back on at 7am. This has helped some more of my hens to mature and start the squatting behavior. Out of 26 BR about 1/3 or actively laying, 1/3 is ready to start and the last third still need to finish maturing. The funny thing is that they all were hatched at the same time.

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