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My five ladies have been using the nesting boxes to lay since they started laying. All of a sudden this week they started laying under a bush. The only change is that I have a new bale of straw that I'm using in the boxes. I am going to try putting their eggs in the nesting box. Any idea why they stopped using their boxes?
 

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They take notions and if you change out bedding, they feel their nests have been disturbed. A disturbed nest is a dangerous site to them, so they find a safer nesting site. Until they grow used to you doing this type of thing as the years go by, they are working on pure instinct.

You can help by shaping their new bedding into a nest-like bowl shape as they had it before and place some of their eggs there. Then you can disturb their bush nest and even place a rock in it to discourage nesting there.

Each time I change out nesting material, I try to shape it into a pleasing, bowl shape and then they will do the rest. They then like to sit in it and weave their own story.
 

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I am having the same issue. My girls started to lay the eggs in the barn. I did not notice til this morning. I found 2 dozen in the barn. I am going to try to leave the eggs in the nest longer and I am not going to let them free range until the end of the day. They have an oversized run so they are still able to move around a lot.
 

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My hens do this often.. But my coop is in the barn so if they are laying in the barn/coop area.. I'm okay with it. Just as long as it's out of harms way.
 

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My free-rangers used to lay in the coop. Suddenly there were no more eggs and I had no idea where they were laying.
Back in July our weather forecast was calling for some severe storms with damaging winds so I went to the wood shed to get the generator and bring it close to the house. I had to move a snowblower out of the way and when I did, this is what I found.
 

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