So my hens have only been laying for about six weeks and they have yet to use their nesting boxes. I put golfballs in them, I put shavings in them (same as the floor, where they DO lay their eggs) and I designed them based on measurements I found online. They can defining get INTO them, but they only get in there to kick out the bedding. These are pictures of what they looked like shortly after I re-filled them (immediately after spotting them filled, one of my hens hopped in and frantically started kicking it all out).
They are about 12 X 12 X 12... there's probably a two inch lip at the front (attempt to keep the shavings in). It would be pretty **** awesome if they would use these things because then we could access the eggs without getting into the coop.
I've been noticing how the chickens lay their eggs on the floor and seem to like digging out a little bowl in the bedding (we use the deep litter)... this makes me wonder if they would start laying in the boxes if I could somehow drop out the bottoms and make it deeper, like a bowl. Is this likely to help? My husband suggests that maybe he could make the boxes deeper by cutting out the floor of the boxes and attaching plastic type tubs (?).
I've read on here that folks sometimes block the areas where a chicken is laying in an unintended place, but my chickens are laying in sort of three different areas of the coop floor, I'm not sure how I could block them all... They can definitely get INSIDE the boxes, as I saw the one chicken spend about ten minutes in there today, frantically scratching at and kicking out the bedding (!!).
thanks in advance for any ideas!