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Chickens Not Using Nest Boxes

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I need a bit of advice.

 

In the spring I cleaned the coop and removed the old nest boxes with the idea of building new ones. A new flock of 25 barred rocks were put into the coop. Unfortunately between work and being sick, time got away from me and the hens started to lay about 5 weeks ago without any nest boxes. As a result they started to lay on the floor and burying their eggs in the pine shavings. About two weeks ago, a new series of nest boxes have been added. The problem is none of the hens seem to be interested in laying in the boxes.

 

The nest boxes are a duplicate of the old ones with the added feature of a sloped floor so eggs roll away from the hens and into a collection area so I can get them (had a problem in the past with egg eating in one flock). There are 6 in total and they are 12h x 12w x 15d. The boxes are 28" off the floor and each has a plastic egg inside to encourage laying.

 

Any ideas on further discouraging floor laying and encouraging laying in the nests?

post #2 of 5
It depends now that they have formed a bad habit laying on the floor out of necessity. Maybe locate the nests closer to the floor and use hay in the boxes with a wooden or ceramic egg in each nest box. Good luck.

I have never used sloped floor nests, maybe it scares them?
1 wonderful husband, 12 pullets (4 Ameraucanas, 2 Golden Sexlinks, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Delawares), 2 sassy cats and 1 salt water reef tank including 2 nemos!

 

The Egg - “A box without hinges, key, or lid. Yet golden treasure inside is hid.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
 

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1 wonderful husband, 12 pullets (4 Ameraucanas, 2 Golden Sexlinks, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Delawares), 2 sassy cats and 1 salt water reef tank including 2 nemos!

 

The Egg - “A box without hinges, key, or lid. Yet golden treasure inside is hid.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
 

Reply
post #3 of 5

You may have to train them to the boxes using bedding in them and then start slowly reduce the bedding in nests to take advantage of the roll away aspect.

 

Hollow plastic eggs can be filled with sand to make them heavier, golf balls and solid plastic or ceramic fake eggs can be used also.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that advice. I have good news. A day after I posted the question, I found two eggs in the nest box trap. A few days later I found 5. As of now, I am only finding one or two on the floor.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenbee View Post
 

Thanks for that advice. I have good news. A day after I posted the question, I found two eggs in the nest box trap. A few days later I found 5. As of now, I am only finding one or two on the floor.

Great!

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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