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Hens not laying in nest box

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have somewhat of a newbie situation and question.big_smile

I have some of my hens that are laying but none are laying in their nest boxes but rather they lay when they are out free ranging and have consistently layed in our duck house or in the corner on the floor (buried) in the chicken coop.  I have to dig through 4-6 inches of pine shavings to find eggs.  idunno

How do I get them to lay in the nest box?  If I lock them in the coop won't the rest of the chickens (various younger ages but not laying yet) get mad about not free ranging?

Lucky husband of one wonderful homeschooling wife!!!!
Blessed father to 3 sons (19, 11 & 9) and 2 daughters (14 & 6)!!!!
Watchman, caretaker and feeder to 1 chocolate lab, 3 cats, 46 mixed chickens (RIR, BO, etc), 19 mixed baby chicks and 13 Indian Runner ducks.
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Lucky husband of one wonderful homeschooling wife!!!!
Blessed father to 3 sons (19, 11 & 9) and 2 daughters (14 & 6)!!!!
Watchman, caretaker and feeder to 1 chocolate lab, 3 cats, 46 mixed chickens (RIR, BO, etc), 19 mixed baby chicks and 13 Indian Runner ducks.
Reply
post #2 of 8

You don't for the most part. They will lay where they feel is the safest for their eggs.

My great great uncle and aunt use to have these strange teepee litle huts all over their property. Their hens like to lay in them. So perhapes try small dark boxes or something and place them about on the property so they may go in there?

post #3 of 8

You can put golf balls or some other sort of fake egg in the nest boxes.  You could make/ut a nest box in the corner where they are laying, on the floor; a cardboard box or something similar is fine.  Do you have hay or straw or something in the nest boxes?

You could try leaving them in longer in the morning; they can lay any time of day, of course, but seem to lay more in the morning, or at least mine do.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #4 of 8

My hens kick the pine shavings out of the nesting box and lay on the shavings on the floor in front of it.  The LOVE to SLEEP in the nesting boxes though.   Silly chickens.  Makes egg collecting difficult.  tongue

SAHM to two boys, 8 and 4, one very DH, one lab/golden mix-Mattie, and four sweet brown Hyline gals-Penny, Polly, Priscilla, and Petunia(RIP Pattie), and 8 baby chicks in late June 2010 from MPC (Austrolorp, Spec.Sussex, Black JG, BR, White and Partridge Cochins, and White Leghorn).
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SAHM to two boys, 8 and 4, one very DH, one lab/golden mix-Mattie, and four sweet brown Hyline gals-Penny, Polly, Priscilla, and Petunia(RIP Pattie), and 8 baby chicks in late June 2010 from MPC (Austrolorp, Spec.Sussex, Black JG, BR, White and Partridge Cochins, and White Leghorn).
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post #5 of 8

When I first started with chickens, my chickens did the same thing.  I have a large shed/community daytime coop that all of them can use during the day time to lay (they disburse and go to their different living quarters at night (5 different coop locations)).  It has about 10 nesting boxes in the shed but they still choose to lay wherever they are comfortable.  The only thing about mine is that the areas that they have chosen to lay are where they lay all the time.  I make sure that there is hay in that particular cozy little spot.  I gave in to the fact that I cannot control where they lay.  I just try to make where they layis as comfy as possible.  I'm not sure what the answer is in your situation but my problem seemed to work itself out.   I have heard that they golf ball idea works but I never tried it.

NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrleader99 

How do I get them to lay in the nest box?  If I lock them in the coop won't the rest of the chickens (various younger ages but not laying yet) get mad about not free ranging?


In my experience it only takes a couple of days to get your hens used to laying in a nest box. I would keep them in the coop for a couple of days and supply extra treats. I would also put a golf ball, wooden or plastic egg, or something in the nest box so the laying hens will know what it is for.

Raising chickens to backyard birding...I love the fowl!

Carole
Visit Fowlvisions.com where I share my everyday experiences with chickens. My breeds of choice are: Large Fowl...Brahmas--Light, Buff, and Dark Brahmas! With a recently acquired Blue India peacock too!
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Raising chickens to backyard birding...I love the fowl!

Carole
Visit Fowlvisions.com where I share my everyday experiences with chickens. My breeds of choice are: Large Fowl...Brahmas--Light, Buff, and Dark Brahmas! With a recently acquired Blue India peacock too!
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post #7 of 8

I also have had birds not laying in nests. Do you have enough nests in your coop ? I think it is 1 nest to every 3 or 4 birds. I put in more nests and the golf ball trick  and now all but my duck lay in the nest. shes a rebel (i also free range). I agree with leaving them in for a couple days or letting them out later. worked for me. good luck

30 layers, 2 dogs,1 bearded dragon, 1 indian runner duck and 4 kids yeah its a circus
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30 layers, 2 dogs,1 bearded dragon, 1 indian runner duck and 4 kids yeah its a circus
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks all of the responses.  I do have wooden eggs in the nest boxes.  Also right now we have 4 hens that are of laying age and 3 nest boxes.

It does make searching for the eggs fun.  Oh yeah the corner in their coop where they lay is under one of the high roosts so when you are digging through the shavings looking for eggs, yep, you are digging through the poo under the roost. sickbyc

As for the location in the duck house where they lay, it is in a corner that was not supposed to be easily accessible other than crawling into the duck house.  I am so glad that two of my sons (9 and 7) can fit in there. clap

Lucky husband of one wonderful homeschooling wife!!!!
Blessed father to 3 sons (19, 11 & 9) and 2 daughters (14 & 6)!!!!
Watchman, caretaker and feeder to 1 chocolate lab, 3 cats, 46 mixed chickens (RIR, BO, etc), 19 mixed baby chicks and 13 Indian Runner ducks.
Reply
Lucky husband of one wonderful homeschooling wife!!!!
Blessed father to 3 sons (19, 11 & 9) and 2 daughters (14 & 6)!!!!
Watchman, caretaker and feeder to 1 chocolate lab, 3 cats, 46 mixed chickens (RIR, BO, etc), 19 mixed baby chicks and 13 Indian Runner ducks.
Reply
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