Will they really lay in the coop??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by providencehope, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. providencehope

    providencehope Hatching

    Jul 27, 2014
    Maybe I'm over thinking this.

    My girls will be six months old in August, so we are officially on egg watch. They are free-range, but they go back and roost in their coop every night. There is a ledge there, where we have put straw for them to lay eggs. I'm wondering about two things.

    1) Every coop design I've seen shows nesting BOXES for individual chickens. The way our coop was built, we didn't really have room for that, so it's just a shelf kind of thing. Right now, they are just pooping on it. I'm concerned they won't lay there because it's not boxes.

    2) If they're sleeping in there, is it likely that's where they'll lay?

    I would just hate to be watching for eggs and then realizing they're just laying them all over the pasture. UGH.

    I hope to build a new, bigger coop next year, since we hope to get more pullets (We had some fox trouble this year, and lost almost half our flock), but I need to know if this will be okay for this year. Thanks in advance! -Nicole
  2. Cagwin512

    Cagwin512 Hatching

    Jun 6, 2013
    Manor, Texas
    I do not have boxes in mine and my chickens sleep there, all of my chickens lay in the coop. A couple of the chickens layed their very first egg outside the coop but every egg for the last year has dropped in the coop.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do they have a roost that is higher than the 'shelf nest'?

    Can you post a pic of the inside of the coop?

    You'll want to break them of the habit of sleeping(and pooping) where you want them to lay.

    Maybe you could put some shallow boxes with straw and fake eggs/golf balls on the shelf?

    At 6 months I would think they may already be laying, what breed are they?
    You could try to confine them to the coop until midafternoon to see if they are laying and acclimate them to the 'nests.'
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Have you seen them squatting? Heard the egg song? When either of these events occur, I'd confine them to the coop/run until they are reliably laying where you want them to. That's assuming that you have a run attached to your coop. If you have no run, they may or may not lay in the coop. Chickens prefer to lay their eggs in confined dark spaces that they perceive to be "safe". Is there any way you can adapt the existing coop to add a nest box? Perhaps cut a hole in the side, and attach a box with outside access??? I'm thinking they would not choose to lay eggs on a shelf as they would be prone to roll off.

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