Ask any chicken owner why they have chickens, and most of them will tell you it’s because of the eggs. They’ve decided to raise chickens because they prefer eating fresh organic eggs or start an egg-selling business. So, what do you do when your chickens’ egg production slows down? Do fake eggs help chickens lay more? If so, how do you do it, what kind of dummy eggs you use, and where do you place them?
Do Fake Eggs Help Chickens Lay?
No, fake eggs won’t increase your chickens’ production or influence them to start laying. But dummy eggs can get your hens to lay in their nesting boxes, so it makes it easier to collect all their eggs in one spot.
So why would you want to get your chickens to lay in the same spot?
Well, it’s easier to collect the eggs. Plus, if you have free-range chickens, they could be laying eggs everywhere in the yard that you still haven’t found. It can make it seem like they are laying fewer eggs, but they’re not.
When Do Chickens Start Laying Eggs?
Chickens have a mind of their own and will lay when she’s ready and choose a comfortable spot. Most pullets will begin to lay eggs when they are 16 to 24 weeks of age.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to get your chickens to lay more eggs. However, you can, however, if your chickens’ eggs are low quality, here’s what you need to do to improve the quality.
So What Are Dummy Eggs Used For?
If you’ve ever been exposed to a community of chicken owners, you’ve likely heard many people talking about using fake eggs, golf balls, or ceramic eggs for their flock.
It can sound kind of funny, especially if you’ve never owned chickens before. Why would you use dummy eggs for chickens?
Well, there are a few reasons to use them, and it can be because of the following:
Get Chickens to Lay Their Eggs in One Spot
People have learned that using dummy eggs (even golf balls) is an excellent way to get chickens to lay their eggs in their nesting boxes.
If your chickens have been hiding, burying, or laying their eggs everywhere in the yard, then you should give it a try.
There are many predators such as skunks, raccoons, coyotes, rats, foxes, etc., that will eat chicken eggs. Chickens especially, the free-range variety, choose to find a safe, comfortable place to lay their eggs.
After all, hens are like human momma’s. They care for their eggs because it’s their baby in their eyes, and they will do anything to protect them.
When they see the fake egg in the nesting box, they automatically assume that it’s a safe spot to lay their eggs. According to chicken keepers community members, the fake eggs will encourage your chickens to use the nesting boxes.
As mentioned, it won’t get them to lay more eggs. But it can seem like more, especially if your chickens have a good hiding spot and you aren’t able to find all the eggs they lay.
What Type of Eggs Work Best?
If you’re using this trick to get your chickens to lay eggs in one particular spot so you can find the eggs, it doesn’t matter what type of fake balls you use.
There are tons of different fake balls available on the market. Some pet stores even sell Happy Hen Nest Eggs, which consist of two ceramic brown eggs.
Chickens are smart animals, but if you have any kind of ceramic, plastic, golf balls lying around, they will work. Even your old plastic Easter eggs can work.
Suppose you don’t have access to any of the above types of eggs. Go outside and find two decent-sized stones to use for this experiment.
Basically, you’re just looking for something that resembles a chicken egg in both looks and weight.
If you’re using a plastic egg, you’ll need to fill it with dirt, sand, or rice and tape it shut so it can withstand the weight of the pullet.
Where Do You Put The Fake Eggs?
Once you have the dummy eggs, you’ll want to place one in each nesting box. So if you have six nesting boxes, you’ll need six dummy eggs.
How Long Does It Take for The Eggs to Work?
However, once they do, you’ll notice more eggs in the morning or evening, depending on when your chickens lay their eggs. If you have Silkies or other hens that love to brood, you may even find them.
Depending on how often your chickens lay eggs, it may take some time for them to notice them. Chickens are a creature of habit, and they can be very stubborn, so you may have to give it some time for them to start laying eggs in the nesting box.
If, after a few days or a week, you’re still finding eggs on the ground, hidden in corners, tall grass, or anywhere else in the yard, here’s a more in-depth article on how to get them to lay in the nesting boxes.
When to Remove the Eggs?
It’s totally up to you. You can decide to move the eggs once the chickens have learned where to lay the eggs. If you’re concerned about predators, then you can opt to leave them in the nesting boxes.
Many people choose to leave the eggs in the nesting boxes because it makes them feel safe, and they will continue using the nesting boxes.
No fake eggs won’t result in your laying hens miraculously lay more eggs. That said, they can get your chickens to stop laying eggs everywhere but the nesting boxes. Fake eggs can also make your chickens feel safe by deterring predators.
Of course, if you’re using fake eggs to encourage them to use the nesting boxes, it will take some training. Here’s everything you need to know about training your chickens to use the nesting boxes.