Our coop has a dirt floor, nesting boxes attached to the wall below the perch and a few plants growing inside for the girls to pick at or hide in. My problem is that they prefer to laying in the dirt. I've blocked their favorite places to try and convince them to move to the nesting boxes, but instead they've chosen the nesting box that hasn't yet been attached to the wall. It doesn't matter where I move it inside the coop, they follow it. I'm thinking that if I attach it along the side with the others, they'll likely start laying in the dirt again. Neither of them could care less for the golf ball trick. Should I lower the height of the other boxes? Then don't have a problem getting into them, but they have no interest in them aside from pulling out the hay.
Not Using Nesting Boxes
Sometimes no matter what you do they just don’t want to lay in the nests. Since they are laying in that unhung nest, you might try moving it a short distance every two or three days toward your other nests to see if you can lure them into that area. I’ve never done that but some people on here said it worked for them.
I made some of my nests so I can lock a chicken in them if I want to. That’s actually come in handy for a few different things. When I catch a hen laying where I don’t want her to, like the floor, I catch her and lock her in one those nests until she lays that egg. Usually that’s a half hour but I have had some go over three hours. Usually I just have to do that once before they are retrained but I have some I had to do that twice and occasionally you get one that relapses after a while. It usually works pretty well though.
You can try moving your nests. Who knows what will work?
I have moved the unattached box closer to the others and they still use it. I may just attach them all lower than they currently are. They're also content with laying in the dirt, which is fine, but not preferred. They have full run of the lot, so I'm just happy they choose to lay in the coop and not all over the place...like the ducks... Thank you so much!