14 hens laying everywhere. Please help me

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pattgal, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this question has probably already been posted before but i cannot find it
    I have 14 hens (given to me with this problem) who use their nestbox as a toilet and lay anywhere.
    they poop everywhere too, but mostly in the nestbox. its not like they are spending alot of time in there either. They just go in, poop, and come out
    How do I fix this? Please help me, i can't imagine spending the rest of the winter like this [​IMG]
     
  2. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wales
    Try placing fake eggs in the nest box and keeping your girls in for longer in the morning, this will increase the likelihood of laying in the boxes,

    Sandie
     
  3. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Already had golf balls in there (now buried in poop). and I don't free range these ones. Sorry
     
  4. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just looked at your BYC page. Some of your birds are Silkies. Start off by separating them at night into their own area. They might be spending the night in the nest box and dirtying it. Alot of Silkies don't roost and would rather be in a "pile".
    Or you can cover the hole to the nest box when you close up for the night. See if that helps. Open the nest box early in the morning.
    Put in an egg-look-a-like in the nest box. Golf ball, store bought egg, plastic or ceramic egg, etc.
    Good luck,
    Dale-Ann
    ETA: Clean your nest boxes! Put fresh straw in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  5. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sorry I forgot to mention, these are all red hens. I kinda figured something was up when they were given to me for free.
    they came from a religious organization called the trapistines (don't know what that is except it involves nuns). all I know is they had alot of hens (100-200+) So I can see why they have no manners.
    the nestbox is on the ground, the roost is up high, there were golf balls in the nestbox. .....
    edited to ad, the silkies are part of my "special bunch" they are in a separate coop
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  6. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    Can you handle them at all? When my ladies first started laying, I had a couple who didn't want to lay in the boxes, so I stalked them one weekend and placed them in the nest box when they started the pre-egg pace. They have been using them ever since. I have one pullet who couldn't fly up to my boxes either. They now have a ladder for reaching them as well.

    Good luck!!
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    How high is the roost? Do they ever go up there? They might need a ladder or a step until they get used to it.

    I believe I'd try closing the nest boxes off completely, and placing them on the roost nightly at dark. I'd let them lay wherever they were til they accepted the roost and went up on their own. In other words, I'd teach the roost first, then the nest. Since they aren't laying in the nest boxes anyway, you're not teaching them a bad habit.

    Retraining adults is probably trickier than training juveniles.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2010
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sorry I forgot to mention, these are all red hens. I kinda figured something was up when they were given to me for free.
    they came from a religious organization called the trapistines (don't know what that is except it involves nuns). all I know is they had alot of hens (100-200+) So I can see why they have no manners.
    the nestbox is on the ground, the roost is up high, there were golf balls in the nestbox. .....
    edited to ad, the silkies are part of my "special bunch" they are in a separate coop

    Just a thought maybe raise the nest boxes up off the ground.
     
  9. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All of them use the roost. they are pretty good socially. they are fairly easy to catch and don't fuss like my new but useless marans do.
    ddawn: their roost is partly made out of a ladder. I think taking the nest box out for now is probably a good idea though

    Does anyone think its odd that they are not all laying in the same spot?, I thought it was chicken instinct to accumulate eggs not spread them out

    sheaviance1: what does the pre egg pace look like? these hens lay all the way into the evening... this could be time consuming but as a last resort i would be stubborn enough to do it this way
     
  10. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does it make a difference what the box looks like? right now its just a milk crate on the floor until we build something more permanent.
     

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