wondering if she is laying outside - what to do?

kahlua

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
355
13
113
NJ
I have a BCM pullet that is about 5 months old. She has not laid yet - that I'm aware of. I just got my chickens settled in their new coop about 2 weeks ago, and I gave them a week before I started letting them free range during the day. About three days ago, when I went down to let them out, I noticed that this one pullet was spending lots of time in the nesting boxes. I watched her for at least an hour, and she was going back and forth between the two, sat for quite a while and was panting...and she kept singing the egg song although she didn't lay an egg. I left her alone with the coop door open, hoping maybe I'd find an egg later when I went to close them in for the night.
No egg that night, and she was no longer paying any attention to the nest boxes. Two days later, still nothing. She is acting fine, so I don't think she is egg bound.
The chickens' free range area is very wooded and somewhat rocky, and I'm wondering if she laid her egg out in the woods. I did look around, but there are so many places it could be...if she did lay it out there, I doubt I'd find it.
So my question is, how should I handle this? I don't want her to get into the habit of laying outside, but I don't even know for sure if she did or not!
I was thinking I have 3 options??
1. Keep all the chickens in the coop for a few days, so she doesn't get stressed out at being alone? And hopefully she will lay an egg in the nest box while she's in there.
2. Keep just her (and/or one or two others?) in the coop while the others free range during the day
3. Just let her be until I am sure she's laid an egg

Or does anyone have any other ideas?
Thanks!!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2009
107,988
263,977
1,907
New Jersey
Keep them locked in the coop until several hours past their usual release time. When you turn them out, watch her closely. If she is laying outside she will most likely rush to her hdden nest.
 

kahlua

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
355
13
113
NJ
Thank you - that makes a lot of sense. I let them out already today but will do that this week to see if I can catch her.
 

kahlua

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
355
13
113
NJ
I just found an egg in the nest box when I went to let everyone out!

It's a little darker in person...

 

so lucky

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 31, 2011
1,249
2,844
372
SE Missouri
I'd say your issue is resolved! Pretty marans egg. For the record, my girls acted like they were just about to lay an egg for several days before they actually did lay their first one.
 

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