Why are they suddenly sending me on an "Easter egg hunt"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yinzerchick, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Hi all! About a week ago I cleaned out my whole coop and replaced all the roosts. (roost mites) I put everything back in (almost) exactly as it had been, except I used sand for covering the whole floor, and lowered the roosts about 8 inches. Now suddenly several of my hens have started laying eggs in the goats hay manger, behind the hay bails in the barn, and who knows where else. [​IMG] I probably haven't found them all.
    Most of them are still laying in the nest boxes, which weren't changed at all, just cleaned out and new hay put in, but what's up with these 4 or 5 hens? Why after almost a year of laying in the nest boxes would they decide to switch things up? [​IMG] Perhaps they're just sending me on an early Easter egg hunt? Any ideas or suggestions on how to get them back into the boxes where they belong?
    I was thinking about locking them all in the run and coop for a few days, but I hate to do that to them all since it's just several hens and they're use to free ranging.
    All advice or comments are appreciated!
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Chickens are such creatures of habit, they often get upset with changes, even subtle ones. You're thinking right though, lock everybody in for about five days, to get those girls back into the habit of laying in the coop. It won't hurt them a bit.

  3. peepmommy

    peepmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
    I had some hidden nests in early spring. Lock them in the coop for around a week. You may have to do this later on as they may do this again. Just keep an eye on your egg production. When it drops, you may have a hidden nest!
  4. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    Anytime we have made even the slightest change in our coop interior (even cleaning out the litter when we totally changed it out in the fall) our girls have been really disrupted -- stop laying, start molting, lay in odd places, etc. When we have had them either doing the hidden nest thing, or laying eggs in random places, we keep them in the coop for a few days and it gets better.
  5. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Thanks for the responses... You all told me what I suspected I had to do. (gonna hate it though, it'll mean a dirtier coop and run for me to clean!) [​IMG] I'm surprised that little bit of change made them fall off the table like that. Silly birds. Now I know, and my eggs production did seem to go down a little, guess I better check around before I have rotten eggs exploding!
    Thanks again!

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