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How to get chickens to use nesting boxes?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!! My husbadn made some nesting boxes for my chickens about 3 months ago but still no usage or laying inside! They seem to only want to use  them to sleep on the very top. Today we screwed the boxes to the wall so that they were not laying on the ground. When It was dark I went to check on them and of course...they were not in the nesting boxes but outside of the entire pen on top of the chicken wire. How do I get them to start laying in their nesting boxes? We have 2 acres of land and a whole lot of brush and weeds so It would be impossible to find all of the eggs if they are laying them elsewhere. I just wish they would start using the nesting boxes hit

2 doxies - 1 blue bulldog - 23 Buff Orpingtons (32 in the incubator) - 1 quail - 5 leghorns - 1 salmon faverolles - 3 mixed
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2 doxies - 1 blue bulldog - 23 Buff Orpingtons (32 in the incubator) - 1 quail - 5 leghorns - 1 salmon faverolles - 3 mixed
Reply
post #2 of 5

What worked for me was ceramic eggs.  I put two in each of the nesting boxes.  Other people have used golf balls with success, but regardless, you need to show them what the boxes are for.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, so should I lock them in the pen for a couple of days with the golf balls in the nesting boxes? Cause otherwise they are free rangers! yippiechickie

2 doxies - 1 blue bulldog - 23 Buff Orpingtons (32 in the incubator) - 1 quail - 5 leghorns - 1 salmon faverolles - 3 mixed
Reply
2 doxies - 1 blue bulldog - 23 Buff Orpingtons (32 in the incubator) - 1 quail - 5 leghorns - 1 salmon faverolles - 3 mixed
Reply
post #4 of 5

Wooden eggs (from a craft store) have worked best for me.  And, if they start sleeping in them, put boxes or wadded up feed bags in at night when they go to roost, and remove in the morning.  typically, when one begins to use the nest boxes, the rest follow suit.

~Courage is fear that has said its prayers.~

 

SPECIALIZING IN:  Jersey Giants.  Black Copper Marans. Blue Marans. Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks.  

Click to view my website.

Just for fun:  First & second generation "olive eggers," and a few ducks - Welsh Harlequin, Black Swedish, Black Runner.

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~Courage is fear that has said its prayers.~

 

SPECIALIZING IN:  Jersey Giants.  Black Copper Marans. Blue Marans. Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks.  

Click to view my website.

Just for fun:  First & second generation "olive eggers," and a few ducks - Welsh Harlequin, Black Swedish, Black Runner.

Reply
post #5 of 5

I built and installed two nest boxes (18" off the floor) inside the coop when they were just a couple of months old. Best advice I heard on BYC was to close off the nest boxes until they started to lay. I had one egg laid on the floor and then I removed the front cover on the boxes and now all their eggs have been laid in the nest boxes and none of the chickens hang out in there or sleep in there thumbsup

They prefer the nest box that is the darkest and farthest from the coop door...smart chickens.

My two mistakes with my nest boxes are:

1. The roof is not slanted enough to keep them from standing and pooping on the roof.

2. I have to open the coop door to reach in to retrieve the eggs.

ONE Solution for my design: Build two external nest boxes and attach to the outside of the coop and retrieve eggs without opening the coop  door 

FYI: I put fresh wood shavings in the nest boxes and refresh as needed. Old shavings get thrown out onto the coop floor...no waste! celebrate

--Hugh


Edited by SC_Hugh - 10/12/09 at 9:05pm
2 Dominiques, 1 Black Cochin, 1 Speckled Sussex and 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte. 4' x 7' wooden playhouse coop conversion + 4' x 20' attached run on 1/3 of an acre.

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, check it! A fork full of waffle helps the fried chicken go down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qawlht-alU
Reply
2 Dominiques, 1 Black Cochin, 1 Speckled Sussex and 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte. 4' x 7' wooden playhouse coop conversion + 4' x 20' attached run on 1/3 of an acre.

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, check it! A fork full of waffle helps the fried chicken go down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qawlht-alU
Reply
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